NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS
Filed: 2 May 2006
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v. Burke County
No. 02 CRS 6654
MARK ANTHONY BROWN
Appeal by defendant from a judgment dated 22 March 2005 by
Judge Beverly T. Beal in Burke County Superior Court. Heard in the
Court of Appeals 27 March 2006.
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Special Deputy Attorney
General John J. Aldridge, for the State.
M. Victoria Jayne for defendant-appellant.
Mark Anthony Brown (defendant) appeals from a judgment dated
22 March 2005 entered consistent with a jury verdict finding him
guilty of failing to register as a sex offender. For the reasons
stated herein, we find no error.
On 25 August 1997, defendant was convicted of taking indecent
liberties with a minor. Defendant was released from prison on 22
February 2002 and registered in Burke County as a sex offender on
25 February 2002. Defendant listed his address on his registration
card as 1234 Powerhouse Road in Morganton, North Carolina. On 22
July 2002, defendant entered into a lease agreement to rent amobile home at 4193 Chambers Chapel Circle in Morganton. Defendant
did not register this address with the Burke County Sheriff's
Department. On 16 August 2002, defendant was arrested for failure
to register his change of address.
On 7 July 2003, defendant was indicted for failure to register
as a sex offender. The case was tried before a jury at the 21
March 2005 Criminal Session of Burke County Superior Court, the
Honorable Beverly T. Beal presiding. Defendant was convicted of
failing to register as a sex offender and sentenced to a term of
twenty to twenty-four months imprisonment. Defendant appeals.
Defendant argues that there was insufficient evidence to
sustain the conviction. Defendant claims that there was no
statutory violation because there was no evidence that he changed
his address for more than ten days. 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 support a conclusion.'
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 order to convict defendant of failure to register as a sex
offender, the State must prove that: '1) the defendant is a sexoffender who is required to register; and 2) that defendant failed
to notify the last registering sheriff of a change of address.'
State v. Harrison
, 165 N.C. App. 332, 334, 598 S.E.2d 261, 262
(quoting State v. Holmes
, 149 N.C. App. 572, 577, 562 S.E.2d 26, 30
(2002)), disc. rev. denied
, 359 N.C. 72, 604 S.E.2d 922 (2004). In
the instant case, defendant was required to register as a sex
offender because he was a resident of North Carolina and had a
reportable conviction for taking indecent liberties with a minor.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-208.6(4) (2005). The State presented
evidence that defendant signed a lease to move to a new address on
22 July 2002. Leon Francis, the owner of the rental property,
testified that he gave defendant a key to the mobile home on or
about 1 August 2002. Louise Massey, who lived at 4225 Chambers
Chapel Circle, within looking distance of the mobile home,
testified that she recalled seeing defendant at the mobile home and
saw him moving in. Massey testified that she saw defendant
carrying furniture into the trailer. Francis testified that
defendant returned the key to him early the following week, and he
returned the security deposit to defendant, although he kept the
Defendant argues that he did not stay in the mobile home for
ten days and thus was not required to register his change of
address. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-208.9(a) states that [i]f a person
required to register changes address, the person shall provide
written notice of the new address not later than the tenth day
after the change to the sheriff of the county with whom the personhad last registered. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-208.9(a) (2005).
'Where the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous, there
is no room for judicial construction and the courts must construe
the statute using its plain meaning.' State v. Hooper
, 358 N.C.
122, 125, 591 S.E.2d 514, 516 (2004) (quoting Burgess v. Your House
of Raleigh, Inc.
, 326 N.C. 205, 209, 388 S.E.2d 134, 136 (1990)).
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-208(9) clearly provides that a sex
offender shall register his new address not later than the tenth
day after the change. There is no condition precedent in the
statute that the defendant maintain the address for a certain
period of time before reporting the change. The gravamen of the
offense is simply that defendant moved and did not register his new
address. The State presented evidence that defendant executed a
lease, was given a key to the mobile home and was seen moving into
the property. Thus, in the light most favorable to the State, we
conclude there was sufficient evidence to sustain the conviction.
Accordingly, we find no error.
Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge GEER concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
*** Converted from WordPerfect ***