Appeal by defendant from judgments dated 18 February 2005 by
Judge Franklin F. Lanier in Harnett County Superior Court. Heard
in the Court of Appeals
27 March 2006
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General
Lisa R. Schneider, for the State.
Thomas R. Sallenger for defendant-appellant.
David William Rayfield (defendant) appeals from judgments
dated 18 February 2005 revoking his probation and activating his
suspended sentences. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm the
decision of the trial court.
Facts and Procedural History
Defendant pleaded guilty on 11 January 2005 to eight counts of
obtaining controlled substances by fraud and to attaining the
status of an habitual felon. The plea agreement provided as
Defendant is to receive 3 sentences, the first
for 2 counts of obtaining controlled substance
by fraud [and] is to consist of 6-8 months in
the Department of Corrections, the second is
for 2 additional counts [and] is to consist ofa 7-9 month sentence suspended for 36 months
with a special term [and] condition of
probation [that] defendant successfully
complete the 2 year residential Recovery
Ventures Corporation program [and] any other
terms imposed by the Court. Should the
defendant successfully complete the program,
the remaining charges will be dismissed.
Should the defendant, for any reason, fail to
complete the program, the defendant will be
returned to Court for habitual felon
The court accepted the plea and entered prayers for judgment
continued on the same date.
Defendant returned to court on 14 February 2005 for a hearing
on the question of whether he willfully failed to comply with the
condition that he successfully complete the Recovery Ventures
program. Defendant testified that he rode a bus to Asheville for
the purpose of enrolling in the Recovery Ventures residential
program. After he arrived in Asheville, he learned that he would
have to work eighteen hours each day. He explained that he had a
back condition and that he could not work eighteen hours each day.
The next morning he got back on the bus and returned to Harnett
County. Defendant acknowledged on cross examination that he
reviewed and signed the plea agreement containing the provision
that if for any reason he failed to complete the program, he
would be returned to court for habitual felon sentencing. Even
though he knew he would be sentenced as a habitual felon for
noncompliance, he failed to complete the program.
The court found that defendant willfully failed to complete
the program and entered a judgment imposing a term of a minimum of
120 months and a maximum to 153 months. At that point defendant admitted to willfully violating the term and condition of probation
that he successfully complete the Recovery Ventures program. The
court activated the remaining probationary sentence of seven to
nine months and allowed it to run concurrently with the sentence of
120 to 153 months.
Defendant contends that the court erred in revoking probation.
He argues there was insufficient evidence that defendant willfully
and without lawful excuse violated the term and condition of
probation that he complete the Recovery Ventures program. He also
argues the court failed to make proper findings of fact as to
whether defendant willfully and without lawful excuse committed the
violation. However, defendant's contentions are not supported by
the record. The plea agreement provided that defendant would be
sentenced as a habitual felon if he for any reason failed to
complete the program. Defendant's own testimony established he,
with knowledge of the terms of the plea agreement, failed to
complete the program.
To revoke defendant's probation, the court need only be
reasonably satisf[ied] . . . the defendant has violated a valid
condition upon which the sentence was suspended. State v.
, 47 N.C. App. 171, 175, 266 S.E.2d 723, 725 (1980); see
also State v. White
, 129 N.C. App. 52, 58, 496 S.E.2d 842, 846
(1998) (All that is required is that the evidence be sufficient to
reasonably satisfy the judge in the exercise of his sound
discretion that the defendant has willfully violated a validcondition of probation.). The court did find defendant's failure
to complete the program was willful. Then, after the court
activated the sentence as to attaining the status of an habitual
felon, the court addressed the sentence regarding two charges of
obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Defendant admitted that
he willfully violated the condition of his probation. The court
then found the violation was willful and activated the sentence
imposed for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud to run
concurrently with the sentence imposed for attaining the status of
an habitual felon. Accordingly, the trial court's judgments
revoking defendant's probation are affirmed.
Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge GEER concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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