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Criminal Practice – Stalking & Obstruction of Justice – Jailhouse Letters

Even though the form orders entered in defendant’s cases were titled “Conditions of Release and Release Order,” the orders contain much more than just conditions of release. The orders – which set pretrial release conditions that defendant never met, meaning he stayed in jail – prohibited defendant from making contact with his victim, and they remained in effect during defendant’s entire prosecution. Therefore, the letters defendant sent the victim from jail supported his stalking conviction.

We find no error in defendant’s convictions of felonious stalking, felonious obstruction of justice, and felonious attempted obstruction of justice.

Defendant’s obstruction of justice convictions arose from his mailing of bomb threats to courthouses, only one of which was delivered. While it is true that at common law, obstruction of justice was ordinarily treated as a misdemeanor offense, this court has repeatedly recognized felony obstruction of justice as a crime under G.S. § 14-3(b).

State v. Mitchell (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-193-18, 20 pp.) (Donna Stroud, J.) Appealed from Wake County Superior Court (G. Wayne Abernathy, J.) Kimberly Callahan for the state; Kirby Smith III for defendant. N.C. App.


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