Return to nccourts.org
Return to the Opinions Page
An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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.
NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS
Filed: 20 February 2007
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v. Mecklenburg County
VINCENT DEWAYNE THOMPSON
Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 7 October 2005 by
Judge Linwood O. Foust in Mecklenburg County Superior Court. Heard
in the Court of Appeals 13 February 2007.
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General
Gregory P. Roney, for the State.
William D. Auman for defendant-appellant.
Defendant Vincent DeWayne Thompson appeals from a judgment
entered upon his conviction of robbery with a dangerous weapon and
second-degree kidnapping. We find no error.
The State's evidence tended to show that at about 2:00 a.m. on
26 May 2004, Princeton Bess was asleep at his home when he was
awakened by the doorbell. Bess opened the front door and saw Tommy
Moses standing at his door, and Defendant and a third man sitting
on his front porch steps. Moses pulled out a handgun and told Bess
to get into the house. Once inside, Defendant and the third man
pulled out their handguns. The three men escorted Bess to his room
and ordered Bess to get on your knees. Moses pointed his gun atBess while Defendant and the third man searched Bess's room. The
three men took money, gold teeth, a gold necklace, Timberland
boots, tennis shoes, a National Football League team jersey, and
the keys to Bess's 1965 Oldsmobile. The three men then escorted
Defendant entered Bess's Oldsmobile while Moses and the third
man ordered Bess into the trunk of a Chevy Lumina parked outside
Bess's house. Moses and the third man drove the Lumina, with
Defendant apparently following in the Oldsmobile, to a house on
LaSalle Street, where Bess was released from the trunk. Moses
ordered Bess to tell anybody from the house that he had bought the
Oldsmobile. Moses attempted to remove the wheel rims from the
Oldsmobile, but when he realized the key to remove the rims was at
Bess's house, he ordered Bess to drive his Oldsmobile to retrieve
the key with the men as passengers. At his house, Bess retrieved
the key; on the return trip, Moses rode in the front passenger seat
and Defendant rode in the back seat directly behind [Bess] with a
gun. Thereafter, Defendant and the third man removed speakers
from the Oldsmobile, put them in the back seat of the Lumina, and
drove off in the Lumina. Moses switched the rims of Bess's
Oldsmobile with the rims of his vehicle and thereafter allowed Bess
to drive away in his Oldsmobile with four of the five bolts to lock
Following a jury trial finding Defendant guilty of robbery
with a dangerous weapon and second-degree kidnapping, and
acquitting him of possession of a firearm by a felon, the trialcourt sentenced Defendant to 82 to 108 months' imprisonment.
On appeal from that judgment, Defendant contends the trial
court erred by (I)
denying his motion to dismiss based on
insufficiency of the evidence, and (II)
denying his motion to sever
the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon from the charges
of first-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Defendant argues the trial court erred by denying his motion
to dismiss based on insufficiency of the evidence.
asserts that he was merely present at a crime scene but did not
actively participate in the offenses. We disagree.
The standard for ruling on a motion to dismiss is whether
there is substantial evidence (1) of each essential element of the
offense charged and (2) that defendant is the perpetrator of the
offense. State v. Lynch, 327 N.C. 210, 215, 393 S.E.2d 811, 814
(1990). Substantial evidence is that relevant evidence which a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
State v. Patterson, 335 N.C. 437, 449-50, 439 S.E.2d 578, 585
(1994). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the trial court must
consider all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the
State, and the State is entitled to all reasonable inferences which
may be drawn from the evidence. State v. Davis, 130 N.C. App. 675,
679, 505 S.E.2d 138, 141 (1998). Any contradictions or
discrepancies arising from the evidence are properly left for the
jury to resolve and do not warrant dismissal. State v. King, 343
N.C. 29, 36, 468 S.E.2d 232, 237 (1996).
To convict defendant of second-degree kidnapping ..., the
State [i]s required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt defendant,
acting by himself or acting in concert, confined, restrained, or
removed the victims from one place to another for the purpose of
facilitating the commission of a felony. State v. Ripley, 360
N.C. 333, 340, 626 S.E.2d 289, 293 (2006); see also N.C. Gen. Stat.
§ 14-39(a), (a)(2) (2005). Robbery with a dangerous weapon is (1)
an unlawful taking or an attempt to take personal property from the
person or in the presence of another, (2) by use or threatened use
of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, (3) whereby the life of a
person is endangered or threatened. State v. Call, 349 N.C. 382,
417, 508 S.E.2d 496, 518 (1998), appeal after remand, 353 N.C. 400,
545 S.E.2d 190, cert. denied, 534 U.S. 1046, 151 L. Ed. 2d 548
(2001). This Court has stated that
[a] defendant may be convicted for a crime
committed by another if the State proves the
defendant acted in concert with the other to
commit the crime. . . . In addition to the
proof requirements associated with acting in
concert, if the crime is a specific intent
crime, such as robbery with a dangerous
weapon, the defendant, like the actual
perpetrator, must be shown to have the
requisite specific intent. The specific
intent may be proved by evidence tending to
show that the specific intent crime was a part
of the common plan.
State v. Robinson, 136 N.C. App. 520, 523, 524 S.E.2d 805, 807
(2000) (quoting State v. Blankenship, 337 N.C. 543, 557-58, 447
S.E.2d 727, 736 (1994), overruled on other grounds, State v.
Barnes, 345 N.C. 184, 481 S.E.2d 44 (1997), cert. denied, 523 U.S.
1024, 140 L. Ed. 2d 473 (1998)). Here, Bess testified that Defendant and two other men came
into his house, that all three men brandished weapons, and that
Defendant and the other man took his clothes and jewelry. Viewing
this evidence in the light most favorable to the State, there is
substantial evidence to support the robbery with a dangerous weapon
charge. Bess further testified that the three men escorted him
from his home and forced him into the trunk of a vehicle and that
he was driven to the LaSalle Street house only to be forced to
drive back to his home to retrieve a key to unlock the rims from
his Oldsmobile. Upon returning to the LaSalle Street house,
Defendant and the third man took the Oldsmobile's speakers and
Moses took the Oldsmobile's rims. Defendant provided no evidence
to refute Bess's account of the incident. In the light most
favorable to the State, this evidence permits an inference that
Defendant acted in concert to kidnap Bess for the purpose of
robbing Bess of personal property. Accordingly, the trial court
properly denied Defendant's motion to dismiss.
Defendant also contends the trial court erred by denying his
motion to sever the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon
from the charges of first-degree kidnapping and robbery with a
dangerous weapon. In requesting a severance, Defendant argued to
the trial court that he would be prejudiced in his trial for
robbery with a firearm and kidnapping if the jury learned of his
prior felony conviction, an essential element of the charge of
possession of a handgun as a convicted felon. We note that Defendant failed to renew his motion for
severance before or at the close of all the evidence, pursuant to
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-927(a)(2) (2005). This Court has held that
a defendant's failure to renew a motion to sever as required by
G.S. 15A-927(a)(2) waives any right to severance and that on appeal
the Court is limited to reviewing whether the trial court abused
its discretion in ordering joinder at the time of the trial court's
decision to join. State v. McDonald
, 163 N.C. App. 458, 463-64,
593 S.E.2d 793, 797, disc. review denied
, 358 N.C. 548, 599 S.E.2d
910 (2004). The joinder of criminal charges for trial requires
only that there be some sort of 'transactional connection'
between them. State v. Bracey
, 303 N.C. 112, 117, 277 S.E.2d 390,
394 (1981) (quoting State v. Powell
, 297 N.C. 419, 255 S.E.2d 154
Here, Defendant's alleged use of a handgun during the robbery
and kidnapping was sufficient to establish the requisite connection
between the cases. Accordingly, the trial court did not abuse its
discretion in electing to consolidate the charges.
Judges ELMORE and GEER concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
*** Converted from WordPerfect ***