An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA02-1184


Filed: 20 May 2003


         v.                         Buncombe County
                                 Nos. 01 CRS 8509-8510
MABLE TILLMAN GREEN                    

    Appeal by defendant from judgments entered 18 October 2001 by Judge Dennis J. Winner in Buncombe County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 5 May 2003.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Kevin L. Anderson, for the State.

    David Childers for defendant appellant.

    McCULLOUGH, Judge.

    On 9 July 2001, defendant Mable Tillman Green was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice. The case was tried at the 15 October 2001 Criminal Session of Buncombe County Superior Court.
    The State presented evidence at trial which tended to show the following: In January 2000, Glendel Harrison pled guilty to felony drug charges and was placed on probation. As a condition of her probation, Harrison was not to use or possess any illegal drug, and was subject to drug testing. Robyn Keith was Harrison's probation officer. On 26 September 2000, Harrison started drug treatment at the Day Reporting Center. Harrison had failed numerous drug tests, and Keith told her that she had thirty days “to get clean” or Keith would report her in violation of her probation.    Defendant, Mable Green, was Harrison's case manager at the Day Reporting Center.
    On 27 October 2000, Harrison reported to defendant for a drug test. Prior to that date, Keith spoke with defendant and told her that if Harrison tested positive, defendant should call Keith and that Keith would then issue a warrant and arrest Harrison. Harrison reported to defendant and was a “nervous wreck” because she had smoked marijuana and knew she was going to test positive. Harrison produced a urine sample in front of defendant, and watched defendant test the sample. Harrison testified she saw that “she tested positive for marijuana” and “broke down and cried because I knew I was being violated automatically.” Shortly thereafter, however, defendant called to Harrison and asked her why she was crying. Defendant told Harrison that the drug screen was negative and that she was crying for nothing. Harrison testified that she saw the test herself, and that it was positive. Harrison alleged that defendant then “took the test over to a Xerox machine and Xeroxed a copy of the test, brought it back to the table, and drew in a negative line where the positive was at.” Harrison and defendant then signed the test. Harrison testified that defendant told her not to say anything because she “could get in a lot of trouble.” Defendant then left a message for Keith informing her that Harrison's drug screen was negative. The next day, Keith called defendant to confirm that Harrison had tested negative, and defendant told her that the test was, in fact, negative.
    On 1 November 2000, Keith gave Harrison another drug screen, and Harrison tested positive for both cocaine and marijuana. Accordingly, on 6 November 2000, Keith called defendant and asked her to issue a letter of noncompliance and to terminate Harrison from the drug treatment program. Defendant did not immediately send Keith the letter. In January 2001, Harrison told Keith that defendant had falsified the drug test that Harrison had taken on 27 October 2000. Keith reported the matter to the district attorney. In February 2001, Keith received the letter of noncompliance from defendant after it had been requested pursuant to an investigation into defendant's alleged misconduct.
    Defendant was convicted of two counts of obstruction of justice and sentenced to two consecutive terms of eight to ten months' imprisonment. Defendant's sentences were suspended and she was placed on supervised probation for thirty-six months and ordered to pay $2,115.00 in attorney's fees and court costs. Defendant appeals.
    Defendant's sole argument on appeal is there was insufficient evidence to support the convictions. Defendant contends that she did not act to deceive Keith, but instead acted to calm down Harrison. Defendant argues that her actions were well intentioned and were not infamous, there was no ill will, malice, hatred, desire to harm or reckless disregard for others in her actions, nor was there an intent to defraud for which there was damage or loss. Thus, defendant argues that the evidence in this case can only support one misdemeanor charge of common law obstruction of justice, for which the trial court did not have jurisdiction.
    After careful review of the record, briefs and contentions ofthe parties, we find no error. To survive a motion to dismiss, the State must present substantial evidence of each essential element of the charged offense. State v. Cross, 345 N.C. 713, 716-17, 483 S.E.2d 432, 434 (1997). “'Substantial evidence is relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.'” Id. at 717, 483 S.E.2d at 434 (quoting State v. Olson, 330 N.C. 557, 564, 411 S.E.2d 592, 595 (1992)).
    In the instant case, defendant contends that the trial court did not have jurisdiction because the offenses were misdemeanors under common law. The indictments charged defendant with two counts of feloniously obstructing justice “with deceit and intent to defraud.” “Obstruction of justice is a common law offense in North Carolina.” In re Kivett, 309 N.C. 635, 670, 309 S.E.2d 442, 462 (1983). Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-3(b) (2001), “for a misdemeanor at common law to be raised to a Class H felony, it must be infamous, or done in secret and with malice, or committed with deceit and intent to defraud.” See State v. Clemmons, 100 N.C. App. 286, 292, 396 S.E.2d 616, 619 (1990).
    Here, defendant physically altered the results of Harrison's drug screen and falsely informed Keith that the test was negative. Defendant knew it was important to be truthful about the drug test, because Keith had informed her that a probation violation report would be issued and Harrison arrested if she tested positive. When reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, “[t]he trial court must consider such evidence in the light most favorable to the State, giving the State the benefit of every reasonable inference to bedrawn therefrom.” State v. Patterson, 335 N.C. 437, 450, 439 S.E.2d 578, 585 (1994). In the light most favorable to the State, a reasonable mind could conclude from this evidence that defendant falsified Harrison's drug test and lied to Keith with deceit and the intent to defraud her. Accordingly, we conclude the offenses were Class H felonies and were properly before the superior court. See Clemmons, 100 N.C. App. at 292, 396 S.E.2d at 619.
    No error.    
    Judges MARTIN and CALABRIA concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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