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Tag Archives: Weapon Possession

Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Actual or Constructive — Jury Instructions – Plain Error (access required)

State v. Perry Where (1) the evidence only supported a theory that defendant actually possessed a pistol, (2) the state told the jury that this case only involved constructive possession, and (3) the trial court charged the jury on both actual and constructive possession, the trial court’s failure to answer the jury’s subsequent questions about possession resulted in plain error.

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Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Constructive Possession – Confession – Corpus Delicti Rule – Marijuana Possession (access required)

State v. Cox In a car with a driver and three passengers, defendant was seated in the front passenger seat. The driver ran when police arrived, and a gun was found 10 or 12 feet from the car, along the driver’s flight path. Defendant’s mere statement that he owned the gun (after police threatened to charge all three passengers – including defendant’s younger brother – with possession) was insufficient to support the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.

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Criminal Practice – Second Degree Murder – High Speed Chase – Responding Officer – Weapon Possession (access required)

State v. Pierce An officer was on his way to join a high speed chase of defendant when he swerved to avoid debris in the road, lost control of his vehicle, and died after his vehicle went over the median and hit trees. Defendant’s flight from police showed malice, and the death of a police officer driving to join the pursuit was foreseeable.

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Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Multiple Days & Locations – Recent Possession Doctrine (access required)

State v. Lee Even though only one weapon was involved, defendant used it in nine different locations on 10 different days over the course of a month. Because each possession of the weapon was separate in time and location, the trial court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to dismiss the multiple weapons possession charges. We find no error in defendant’s convictions of 10 counts of armed robbery, seven counts of possession of a weapon of mass death and destruction, and 10 counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.

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Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Constructive Possession – Ownership – First Impression – Defective Indictment – Conspiracy – Restitution (access required)

State v. Billinger Although we have found no N.C. appellate decision directly on point, in accord with other jurisdictions, we find that evidence of defendant’s ownership of a sawed-off shotgun is sufficient to show his constructive possession of the weapon. We find no error in defendant’s conviction of possession of a weapon of mass death and destruction. We vacate both defendant’s conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and the trial court’s order of restitution.

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