An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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

NO. COA05-774


Filed: 21 March 2006


         v.                        Robeson County
                                Nos.    01 CRS 16412-15
HARRIS EMANUEL FORD                        01 CRS 16418
        Defendant                        02 CRS 498

    Appeal by defendant from judgments dated 16 November 2004 by Judge Robert F. Floyd, Jr., in Robeson County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 27 February 2006.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Kathleen U. Baldwin, for the State.

    Appellate Defender Staples Hughes for defendant.

    BRYANT, Judge.

    On 7 May 2002, a jury found Harris Emanuel Ford (defendant) guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual offense and single counts of first-degree rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree kidnapping, and larceny. On appeal, this Court found no error at trial and affirmed the convictions. State v. Ford, 162 N.C. App. 722, 592 S.E.2d 294 (2004) (unpublished), cert. denied, 359 N.C. 412, 612 S.E.2d 631 (2005). However, we remanded to the trial court for re-sentencing on the charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense, and robbery with a dangerous weapon, concluding that the court had relied upon an improper aggravating factor in these cases. Additionally, because the verdict sheet hadallowed the jury to find defendant guilty of first-degree kidnapping based upon an act of sexual assault for which he was separately convicted, we “arrest[ed] judgment on the first-degree kidnapping conviction and remand[ed] to the trial court with instructions to resentence defendant for second-degree kidnapping.” Id.
Defendant appeared before the trial court for resentencing on 16 November 2004, and stipulated to thirteen record points and a prior record level IV. Mindful of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 159 L. Ed. 2d 403 (2004), the court resentenced defendant to the following presumptive terms of imprisonment: 384 to 470 months for first- degree rape; 384 to 470 months, consecutive, for each of the two first-degree sexual offenses; 46 to 65 months, consecutive, for second-degree kidnapping; and 113 to 145 months for the consolidated offenses of robbery with a dangerous weapon and larceny, concurrent with the sentence imposed for kidnapping. Defendant gave notice of appeal in open court.


    Counsel appointed to represent defendant has filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 18 L. Ed. 2d 493 (1967), indicating he is unable to identify an issue with sufficient merit to support a meaningful argument for relief on appeal. He asks that this Court conduct its own review of the record for possible prejudicial error. Counsel has filed documentation with the Court demonstrating that he complied withthe requirements of Anders and State v. Kinch, 314 N.C. 99, 331 S.E.2d 665 (1985), by advising defendant of his right to file written arguments with the Court and providing him with a copy of the documents pertinent to his appeal.
    Defendant has submitted pro se arguments to this Court, claiming his convictions were obtained in violation of his rights under the Confrontation Clause and the holding in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 158 L. Ed. 2d 177 (2004). Defendant challenges the trial court's admission of the following evidence at trial: (1) a written statement given to law enforcement by the victim, Lora Bridges; and (2) statements made by an “unknown” declarant to Robeson County Sheriff's Deputy G. T. Campbell.
    Defendant's arguments are not properly before this Court on appeal from his re-sentencing. This Court affirmed defendant's convictions in his prior appeal. The cause was remanded only for a new sentencing hearing. “'According to the doctrine of the law of the case, once an appellate court has ruled on a question, that decision becomes the law of the case and governs the question both in subsequent proceedings in a trial court and on subsequent appeal.'” State v. Bullock, __ N.C. App. __, __, 615 S.E.2d 337, 338 (quoting State v. Boyd, 148 N.C. App. 304, 308, 559 S.E.2d 1, 3 (2002)), temp. stay granted, 359 N.C. 854, 618 S.E.2d 733 (2005); see also N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1419(a)(2) (2005). Accordingly, defendant may not again challenge his convictions in the instant appeal.
    We note that defendant's claims have no merit. Theintroduction of Bridges' written statement did not violate Crawford or defendant's Sixth Amendment right to confrontation, inasmuch as Bridges testified and was subject to cross-examination at trial. See Crawford, 541 U.S. at 59, 158 L. Ed. 2d at 197 (citing California v. Green, 399 U.S. 149, 162, 26 L. Ed. 2d 489 (1970)). “The [Confrontation] Clause does not bar admission of a statement so long as the declarant is present at trial to defend or explain it.” Id. To the extent defendant challenges Deputy Campbell's testimony regarding the out-of-court statements of an unknown declarant, the transcript shows defendant failed to object to this testimony at trial. See N.C. R. App. P. 10(b)(1) (2006).
    In accordance with Anders, we have fully examined the record to determine whether any issues of arguable merit appear therefrom. Because defendant stipulated to his record level and was re- sentenced within the applicable presumptive range for his offenses, we conclude his appeal is without merit.
    Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge GEER concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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