STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v. Wake County
Nos. 02 CRS 28979, 42138,
LAWRENCE POWELL, 69526
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Special Deputy Attorney
General Ted R. Williams, for the State.
Brian Michael Aus for defendant-appellant.
Lawrence Powell, (defendant) entered into an Alford plea on 1
March 2004, pleading guilty to possession with intent to sell or
deliver cocaine, failure to appear on a felony, and admitting his
status as an habitual felon. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the
charges were consolidated for judgment, the State stipulated that
defendant had accepted responsibility and has a support system in
the community, and defendant was to be sentenced to a term of 80
to 105 months imprisonment. At the plea hearing, the trial court
accepted defendant's plea, found that he had twelve prior record
level points, and sentenced him as a Class C, Level IV felon to a
term of 80 to 105 months imprisonment. Defendant appeals. Defendant argues that the trial court erred in sentencing him
as a prior record level IV. Defendant contends that several
convictions from other states were improperly counted.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1340.14 provides that [t]he State bears the burden of proving, by the preponderance of the evidence, that a prior conviction exists and that the offender before the court is the same person as the offender named in the prior conviction. N.C.G.S. § 15A-1340.14(f) (2003). A defendant's prior convictions may be proven by any of the following methods:
(1) Stipulation of the parties.
(2) An original or copy of the court record of the prior conviction.
(3) A copy of records maintained by the Division of Criminal Information, the Division of Motor Vehicles, or of the Administrative Office of the Courts.
(4) Any other method found by the court to be reliable.
Id. See also State v. Riley, 159 N.C. App. 546, 556, 583 S.E.2d 379, 386 (2003).
In the instant case, the following colloquy occurred at the plea hearing:
[THE STATE]: He is a record level IV for purposes of sentencing, and I don't believe there's any dispute as to that. Is that correct, Ms. Godwin?
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: We'll stipulate that he is a Level IV, Your Honor, for sentencing purposes.
Thus, based on counsel's clear stipulation that defendant was a Level IV felon, defendant's prior record level was sufficientlyproven. Accordingly, we affirm.
Judges McCULLOUGH and TYSON concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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