An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA02-1162


Filed: 2 September 2003

                            Durham County            &nb sp;                 No. 02-J-6
Angel Mercado

    Appeal by juvenile from orders entered 26 March 2002 by Judge Marcia H. Morey in the Durham County District Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 4 June 2003.

    Attorney General Roy A. Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Thomas O. Lawton, III, for the State.

    UNC Criminal Law Clinic, by Joseph Kennedy, for defendant appellant.


    Angel Mercado (“juvenile”) appeals from orders of the trial court adjudicating juvenile to be delinquent. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm the order of the trial court.
    At trial, the State presented evidence tending to show the following: On 5 January 2002, juvenile and two other males entered the Pelaqueris Salon (“the salon”), whereupon juvenile produced a gun and pulled a mask over his face, while one of the other males forced the proprietor to a rear office. The proprietor opened the cash register and gave the intruders the money. Juvenile broke a glass cabinet in the office and removed jewelry. The incident was captured on a surveillance videotape.     On 10 January 2002, juvenile was suspended from Jordan High School. On 17 January 2002, Sergeant K. W. Cates (“Sergeant Cates”), a school resource officer, noticed an unfamiliar vehicle (“the vehicle”) in the senior parking lot of Jordan High School. Sergeant Cates then recognized the vehicle as the same vehicle parked in an unauthorized area of the school earlier that week. Sergeant Cates started his police vehicle, and the vehicle in question immediately turned around and proceeded to exit the grounds of the school. Sergeant Cates followed the vehicle onto the street and activated his patrol lights. He noticed the passenger of the vehicle bend forward and disappear beyond his line of vision. The vehicle proceeded along the street until the passenger returned to an upright position and then responded to officer's signal to stop the vehicle. Sergeant Cates called for reinforcement. Once reinforcements arrived, Sergeant Cates and another officer approached the vehicle. Juvenile sat in the front passenger side seat. The two officers requested the driver of the vehicle to produce his driver's license. The driver responded that he did not have a driver's license and was arrested. The officers asked juvenile to step out of the vehicle in order to search the vehicle and saw in plain view, the handle and magazine of a pistol wedged in the front seat.
    On 12 February 2002, during discovery, juvenile had access to the original surveillance videotape (“videotape”) of the salon armed robbery and the State gave juvenile a copy of the videotape. On 19 March 2002, juvenile requested that the State send theoriginal videotape to a specialist located in Alabama for purposes of visual enhancement. The State denied this request, which denial was upheld by the trial court.
    At the conclusion of evidence, the trial court adjudicated juvenile delinquent on the allegations of armed robbery of the salon and trespass on school property. Juvenile appeals from the order adjudicating delinquency and the resulting dispositional order.
    Juvenile presents two issues on appeal arguing that the trial court erred in (1) denying juvenile's motion for production of original scene evidence, and (2) denying juvenile's motion to suppress evidence of a gun obtained in an investigative stop.
    In his first assignment of error, juvenile contends that the trial court committed reversible error in denying juvenile's motion for production of original evidence for visual enhancement. Specifically, juvenile argues that the trial court should have compelled the State to give juvenile the original videotape to send to an out-of-state enhancement facility. We disagree.
    In reviewing reversible error, the burden is on the defendant or juvenile to show specific prejudice as to establish clear abuse of discretion or harmful error. See State v. Godwin, 336 N.C. 499, 505, 444 S.E.2d 206, 209 (1994). North Carolina General Statute, section 15A-903(d) specifically addresses disclosure of documents and tangible objects. “Upon motion of a defendant, the court must order the prosecutor to permit the [defendant] to inspect and copy. . . crime scene, tangible objects, or copies . . . within the possession, custody, or control of the State . . . .” N.C. Gen. Stat.§ 15A-903(d)(2001)(emphasis added). The statute does not require the State to provide a defendant with original crime scene evidence, nor does juvenile offer authority or case law to support his request of the original videotaped evidence for enhancement. Additionally, juvenile had access to the original videotape and was given a copy of the videotape in question before trial. Further, we agree with the rationale of the trial court regarding its refusal to send original crime scene evidence to another state, thus, increasing the potential for loss. The trial court noted that the statute did not require the state “        to relinquish its original evidence to a third party for any kind of enhancement or clarification if the State's not doing that on its own.” We therefore find no error by the trial court.
    Juvenile next contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence of a gun found during an investigative stop of the vehicle where juvenile was a passenger. “[T]he standard of review in evaluating a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress is that the trial court's findings of fact 'are conclusive on appeal if supported by competent evidence, even if the evidence is conflicting.'” State v. Buchanan, 353 N.C. 332, 336, 543 S.E.2d 823, 826 (2001)(quoting State v. Brewington, 352 N.C. 489, 498, 532 S.E.2d 496, 501 (2000) (citations omitted), cert denied, Brewington v. North Carolina, 531 U.S. 1165, 148 L. Ed. 2d 992 (2001)). This Court must not disturb the trial court'sconclusions if they are supported by the court's factual findings. State v. Cooke, 306 N.C. 132, 134, 291 S.E.2d 618, 619 (1982). However, the trial court's conclusions of law are fully reviewable on appeal. See State v. Hughes, 353 N.C. 200, 208, 539 S.E.2d 625, 631 (2000).
    Here, juvenile argues that the State presented insufficient evidence that Sergeant Cates had reasonable, articuable suspicion to lawfully stop the vehicle in question. We disagree. The State presented evidence tending to show that Sergeant Cates noticed a vehicle on 15 January 2002, in a student drop-off/pick-up “drive through” area of the campus. The vehicle did not discharge anyone, nor pick anyone up from campus, as stipulated by school signs. Two days later, Sergeant Cates recognized the same vehicle on campus, driving in a desultory manner in an area that was restricted to visitors. Upon observing Sergeant Cates, the driver of the vehicle immediately turned the vehicle around and exited the parking lot. As a result, Sergeant Cates followed the vehicle and activated his patrol lights. He noticed the passenger of the vehicle bend forward and disappear from his sight. Once the passenger returned to an upright position, the vehicle stopped. Sergeant Cates called for assistance. The Supreme Court noted in Adams v. Williams that, “'a police officer may in appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate manner approach a person for purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior . . . .'” Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143, 145, 32 L. Ed. 2d 612, 616 (1972)(quoting Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 22, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889,906)). Once another officer arrived, both officers approached the vehicle and observed juvenile in the passenger seat and a minor child in the rear seat. Sergeant Cates testified that he asked the driver to produce his North Carolina license and the driver informed him that he did not possess a license. The driver was then arrested. The officers placed juvenile in investigative detention. Sergeant Cates returned back to the vehicle and saw in plain view the handle of a handgun wedged between the driver and passenger seats. Therefore, according to the evidence at trial, Sergeant Cates did have reasonable, articulable suspicion to make a lawful stop of the vehicle in question. We find no error by the trial court.
    In conclusion, we hold that the trial court did not err in denying juvenile's motion for production of original evidence. We further hold that the trial court did not err in denying juvenile's motion to suppress the gun found during a lawful investigative stop. We therefore affirm the order of the trial court.
    Judges HUDSON and STEELMAN concur.
    Report per rule 30(e).

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