An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA02-888


Filed: 6 May 2003


         v.                        Wayne County
                                No. 00 CRS 52024


    Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 30 March 2001 by Judge Donald M. Jacobs in Wayne County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 14 April 2003.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General M. Lynne Weaver, for the State.

    Kevin F. MacQueen for defendant appellant.

    ELMORE, Judge.

    Defendant Marcus Jamal Rouse was charged with possessing a firearm by a convicted felon and three counts of discharging a firearm into occupied property. On 2 March 2001, a jury found defendant guilty of possessing a firearm by a convicted felon, but the trial court declared a mistrial with respect to the remaining three charges. Defendant was retried on the three counts of discharging a firearm into occupied property later that month. The State's evidence tended to show that on 7 March 2000, Terry Graham lived in a mobile home at Tanglewood Trailer Court with his fiancee and daughter. Graham went to the front door at approximately 1:00 a.m. to make sure his screen door was latched before retiring forthe night. Graham opened the front door and his newly acquired dog ran out of the home. Graham called to his dog, but the dog continued down the road. Graham grabbed his car keys, entered his vehicle and drove down the street toward the back of the trailer park. When Graham reached the end of the road, he observed his dog relieving itself on a tree near a vacant lot. Graham stopped his vehicle, opened his door and called to the dog. The dog ran to Graham and jumped into the vehicle.
    Graham began to back his car onto an asphalt slab located on the empty lot. Defendant lived in a trailer next to the empty lot. As Graham backed up, he heard defendant yell at him. Graham rolled down his window and defendant, who was standing in the middle of his front yard, said, “What you need?” Graham attempted to explain to defendant that he had come to retrieve his dog, but defendant became angrier and yelled, “Why you f---ing lying to me?” Graham started to pull away, but stopped his vehicle when defendant yelled, “Why you f---ing with me?” In his rearview mirror, Graham saw defendant reach into his pocket, pull out a handgun and aim it in Graham's direction. As soon as Graham ducked and pressed the gas pedal, he heard gun shots.
    Graham returned to his mobile home and asked his fiancee to call the police. While she contacted the police, Graham saw two vehicles, one of which was a Ford Explorer, race out of the trailer park. Officer Dwayne Bevell of the Goldsboro Police Department examined Graham's vehicle and found bullet holes in the trunk, deck lid, a rear taillight, and bumper. He also observed a doginside the vehicle. Officer Bevell approached defendant's home and he found three shell casings within close proximity of each other in the front yard.
    Defendant testified that in the early morning hours of 7 March 2000, he was unloading from a borrowed Ford Explorer a load of toys he had bought for his daughter's birthday and taking them into his home. From his bedroom window, defendant saw Graham's vehicle pull up. Defendant was afraid Graham “was messing with the toys in the back of [the Explorer],” so he rushed out the door and approached Graham's vehicle. Graham told defendant that he was looking for his dog; however, defendant did not see a dog in Graham's vehicle or in the area. Defendant told Graham he was lying and to leave the area. Graham then put the car in reverse and backed at a high speed towards defendant. Thinking Graham was going to run him over, defendant “let off three shots” at the rear of Graham's vehicle. Defendant testified he “shot out of fear.”
    A jury found defendant guilty of all three counts of discharging a weapon into occupied property. The trial court sentenced defendant to two consecutive terms of twenty-nine to forty-four months imprisonment. Defendant appeals.
    In his sole assignment of error, defendant contends the trial court erred by denying his motion to dismiss based on insufficiency of the evidence. The standard for ruling on a motion to dismiss “is whether there is substantial evidence (1) of each essential element of the offense charged and (2) that defendant is the perpetrator of the offense.” State v. Lynch, 327 N.C. 210, 215,393 S.E.2d 811, 814 (1990). Substantial evidence is that relevant evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. State v. Patterson, 335 N.C. 437, 449-50, 439 S.E.2d 578, 585 (1994). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the trial court must consider all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, and the State is entitled to all reasonable inferences which may be drawn from the evidence. State v. Davis, 130 N.C. App. 675, 679, 505 S.E.2d 138, 141 (1998). “Any contradictions or discrepancies arising from the evidence are properly left for the jury to resolve and do not warrant dismissal.” State v. King, 343 N.C. 29, 36, 468 S.E.2d 232, 237 (1996).
    A person is guilty of discharging a firearm into occupied property if he intentionally, without legal justification or excuse, discharges a firearm into occupied property with knowledge that the property is then occupied by one or more persons or when he has reasonable grounds to believe that the property might be occupied by one or more persons. State v. Hicks, 60 N.C. App. 718, 720, 300 S.E.2d 33, 35 (1983). The conduct proscribed by this offense includes discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-34.1 (2001); see also State v. Martin, 131 N.C. App. 38, 47, 506 S.E.2d 260, 266, disc. review denied, 349 N.C. 532,526 S.E.2nd 473 (1998).
    Defendant argues that the evidence showed that he was justified in discharging the firearm. Defendant, however, relies only on his self-serving trial testimony in support of thisassertion. The State's uncontroverted evidence tends to show that defendant yelled obscenities at Graham while Graham was seated in his vehicle, and that defendant fired at least three shots at Graham's vehicle. Further, police observed bullet holes in the trunk, deck lid, rear bumper, and a rear taillight of Graham's vehicle, and found three shell casings in defendant's front yard. We hold there was sufficient evidence to show that defendant committed the crime of discharging a firearm into occupied property, and this assignment of error is without merit.
    No error.
    Judges HUNTER and BRYANT concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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