A decision without a published opinion is authority only in the case in which such decision is rendered and should not be cited in any other case in any court for any other purpose, nor should any court consider any such decision for any purpose except in the case in which such decision is rendered. See Rule of Appellate Procedure 30 (e)(3).

NO. COA01-567


Filed: 2 April 2002


         v.                        Perquimans County
                                Nos. 95 CRS 1053
DELMA MARCELL LEIGH,                 95 CRS 1054

    On writ of certiorari to review the judgment entered 10 June 1996 by Judge Jerry R. Tillett in Perquimans County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 11 March 2002.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Daniel P. O'Brien, for the State.

    Hornthal, Riley, Ellis & Maland, by Michael P. Sanders, for defendant-appellant.

    BRYANT, Judge.
    On 10 June 1996, the defendant, Delma Marcell Leigh, entered into a plea agreement with the State in which he agreed to tender Alford pleas to charges of second degree rape and first degree burglary. Pursuant to the agreement, the State was “to consolidate the two sentences to a sentence of 125 to 159 months.” On the same day, the trial court entered judgment against defendant and sentenced him in accordance with the plea agreement. However, the sentence imposed upon defendant was in the aggravated range of sentencing for a Class C, Level III felon, and the trial court made no written findings to support the aggravated sentence “because the plea was pursuant to a plea arrangement.” Defendant did not givenotice of appeal. On 26 July 2000, this Court granted defendant's petition for certiorari for the purpose of reviewing the judgment entered against him.
    Defendant's sole argument is that the trial court committed reversible error in sentencing him in the aggravated range without making written findings of aggravation and mitigation and without weighing the aggravating and mitigating factors to determine his sentence. Defendant asserts that although the sentence imposed reflects the sentence he agreed to in the plea agreement, the trial court was still required to make written findings to support its sentence. State v. Bright, 135 N.C. App. 381, 520 S.E.2d 138 (1999). Accordingly, defendant argues that his sentence was not in compliance with N.C.G.S. § 15A-1340.16 and the matter should be remanded for resentencing.
    We agree with defendant. In Bright, this Court held that “Structured Sentencing provides specifically and without exception that a trial court must make written findings when deviating from the presumptive sentence . . . .” Id. at 383, 520 S.E. 2d at 140. Therefore, even though the court sentenced defendant to the precise sentence that he agreed to, the trial court's failure to make any written findings to support its sentence in the aggravated range was error. Accordingly, the matter is remanded for resentencing.
    Remanded for new sentencing hearing.
    Judge THOMAS concurs.
    Judge WYNN concurs in result only.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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