An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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. COA04-1122


Filed: 3 May 2005


         v.                        Gaston County
                                No. 02CRS63069

    Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 21 April 2004 by Judge Yvonne Mims Evans in Gaston County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 25 April 2005.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Special Deputy Attorney General Donald R. Teeter, for the State.

    Thorsen Law Office, by Haakon Thorsen, for defendant- appellant.

    ELMORE, Judge.

    On 7 August 2002, a warrant for arrest was issued charging defendant Robert Eugene Bartlett, Jr., with communicating threats. The case was tried at the 20 April 2004 Criminal Session of Gaston County Superior Court.     
    The evidence presented at trial tended to show that on 7 August 2002, Glenn and Ruth Baker were at the Methodist day-care center in Belmont, North Carolina. The Bakers had spent the day caring for their youngest granddaughter, Rebecca, and were waiting for their older granddaughter, Savannah, to return from a field trip. Several other people were also waiting in the parking lot for their children. While they were waiting, Savannah andRebecca's father, the defendant, arrived at the day-care center in his truck.
    Defendant got out of his vehicle, greeted the Bakers and spoke to Rebecca. Defendant then told the Bakers that he was going to take Rebecca back to his trailer since it was his night for visitation. Mr. Baker told defendant he could not take Rebecca, and that if he did, he would have him arrested. Defendant got angry and raised his voice. Rebecca started to cry, so Mrs. Baker took the child away for a walk to comfort her. Mr. Baker and defendant were alone, and when Baker turned around, he testified that defendant was holding a switch-blade knife. Baker stated that defendant “was jumping around and jumping up and down and backwards and forwards and opening the blade and snap out and then close it and then snap out and close it, and jumping around . . . like a wild man.” Baker then testified that defendant told him “this whole family is going to pay for what you have done to me, and you, old man, are going to pay, also.” Defendant was flipping the knife real close to Baker's face and stomach. Defendant yelled at Baker that “[y]ou people have caused me trouble for the last time.” Baker asked defendant to put the knife away, and defendant closed the knife and threw it into his truck. Mrs. Baker then came back from her walk with Rebecca, and defendant got in his truck and drove away.
    Defendant was convicted of communicating threats and was sentenced to a term of forty-five days imprisonment. Defendant's sentence was suspended and he was placed on supervised probationfor eighteen months. Defendant appeals.
    Defendant first argues that the trial court erred by denying his motion to quash the warrant. Defendant contends that the warrant was insufficient because it failed to allege all of the essential elements of the offense. We are not persuaded.
    “A valid warrant or indictment is an essential of jurisdiction. . . . The warrant or indictment must charge all the essential elements of the alleged criminal offense.” State v. McBane, 276 N.C. 60, 65, 170 S.E.2d 913, 916 (1969) (internal quotations omitted). As defined by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-277.1(a), the essential elements of the offense of communicating threats are:
        (1) [A willful threat] to physically injure the person . . . ;

        (2) The threat is communicated to the other person, orally, in writing, or by any other means;

        (3) The threat is made in a manner and under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat is likely to be carried out; and    

        (4) The person threatened believes that the threat will be carried out.

Here, the warrant charged that defendant threatened Baker by
         “ORALLY STATING 'YOU PEOPLE HAVE CAUSED ME TROUBLE FOR THE LAST TIME' and the threat was made in a manner and under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat was likely to be carried out and the person threatened believed that the threat would be carried out.”

We conclude that the warrant was sufficient to charge the offense. Although the warrant may not have included the circumstances of the threat, it stated that the threat was made orally, quoted the exactthreat made, stated that Baker believed the threat would be carried out, and followed the language of the statute by stating that the threat was made under circumstances which made it reasonable for Baker to believe that the threat would be carried out. See McBane, 276 N.C. at 65, 170 S.E.2d at 916 (“A warrant or indictment following substantially the language of the statute is sufficient if and when it thereby charges the essentials of the offense in a plain, intelligible, and explicit manner.”) (internal quotations omitted). Thus, the “warrant contained terms of sufficient certainty to apprise the defendant of the specific accusations against him so as to enable him to prepare his defense and to protect him from a subsequent prosecution for the same offense.” State v. Frinks, 19 N.C. App. 271, 275, 198 S.E.2d 570, 572 (1973) (internal quotations omitted). Accordingly, the trial court properly declined to quash the warrant.
    Defendant next argues that there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction. Defendant contends that the only person who claims to have seen him with the knife was Baker, and nobody else heard the alleged threats. Defendant claims that if the incident really happened, it would have been witnessed by others.
    After careful review of the record, briefs and contentions of the 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 supporta 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)). 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 be drawn therefrom.” State v. Patterson, 335 N.C. 437, 450, 439 S.E.2d 578, 585 (1994)(citing State v. Vause, 328 N.C. 231, 236-37, 400 S.E.2d 57, 61 (1991)).
    In the instant case, Baker testified that defendant pulled out a switch-blade knife while stating that “you, old man, are going to pay” and Baker and his family had caused him trouble for the last time. Baker further testified that when defendant was doing this, he was “scared.” Although defendant denies ever threatening Baker, defendant's arguments go to the weight of the evidence, not its sufficiency. From Baker's testimony alone, a jury could reasonably conclude that defendant communicated threats. Accordingly, we find no error.
    No error.
    Judges BRYANT and GEER concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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