Home / Opinion Digests / Criminal Practice / Criminal Practice – Attempted Common Law Robbery – Violence – Jury & Jurors – Habitual Felon Status – Indictment – Incorrect Alias

Criminal Practice – Attempted Common Law Robbery – Violence – Jury & Jurors – Habitual Felon Status – Indictment – Incorrect Alias

The state presented evidence that (1) defendant approached David Paolino’s vehicle and demanded that Paolino “get the f**k out of the car”; (2) defendant grabbed Paolino’s arm and attempted to pull Paolino out of the vehicle or force him to open the door so defendant could steal the car; and (3) after a brief struggle, Paolina stepped on the gas and sped away. The state’s evidence was sufficient for a reasonable mind to conclude that defendant grabbed Paolino in an effort to force him from the car so defendant could steal it. This satisfies the violence requirement of attempted common law robbery.

We find no error in defendant’s convictions of possession of a stolen vehicle, attempted common law robbery, resisting a public officer, possession of marijuana, and attaining habitual felon status.

After the jury convicted defendant in the first phase of the trial, one of the jurors became very upset when faced with the habitual-felon phase of the trial. The juror indicated that he “was fair and impartial in the first part, but I didn’t know all the details.” He imagined his friend, who was struggling with drug addiction, in the same situation. In light of the juror’s equivocal answers to questions about his ability to continue to serve, the trial court acted within its discretion in removing the juror for cause and replacing him with an alternate.

Even though the original indictments alleged an incorrect alias for defendant, since they also set out defendant’s actual name correctly, and since some of the indictments were amended before trial to delete the alias, defendant was aware that he was the person charged with all of the crimes for which he was being tried. The mistaken “AKA” label did not prejudice defendant or prevent him from fairly defending against the charges; accordingly, the indictments were not fatally defective and did not deprive the trial court of jurisdiction over these criminal proceedings.

No error.

State v. Davis (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-168-18, 11 pp.) (Richard Dietz, J.) Appealed from Mecklenburg County Superior Court (Jesse Caldwell, J.) Marc Sneed for the state; Anne Bleyman for defendant. N.C. App. Unpub.


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