STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v. No. 04 CRS 250348
KENNETH LORENZO TRUESDALE
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General
David N. Kirkman, for the State.
Jarvis John Edgerton, IV, for defendant-appellant.
MARTIN, Chief Judge.
Defendant was charged in bills of indictment with robbery with
a dangerous weapon and first degree kidnapping. A jury found him
guilty of robbery with a dangerous weapon and not guilty of first
degree kidnapping. Upon his stipulation to a prior record level
IV, the trial court sentenced defendant to a presumptive prison
term of 105 to 135 months. Defendant gave notice of appeal in open
Schdell King testified that he and his cousin, Joel Reed, went to the Club H20 nightclub in Charlotte, North Carolina at approximately 12:30 to 1:00 a.m. on 6 June 2004. They met two women at the club and were invited to the women's apartment. Kingand Reed followed the women to the apartment complex in King's vehicle. By the time they arrived at the complex, however, Reed had passed out. King told the women that the night was over due to his cousin's condition. As he walked toward some bushes to urinate, one of the women invited King inside to use the bathroom. When they reached the apartment, she led King into a bedroom with an adjoining bathroom. King emerged from the bathroom to find two men with guns pointed at [him]. Defendant was holding a handgun; and the second man had a rifle.
The gunmen ordered King onto the bed, forced him to remove his clothing and jewelry, and asked for his car keys. King's clothing also held his cell phone and wallet, which contained $250. King told the men that the keys were in his pants' pocket. When they were unable to find the keys, defendant beat King in the face and head with the butt of his gun while asking for the keys. The men then forced King outside at gunpoint and tried to place him in the trunk of a gray car. When defendant said, Fuck it, let's kill him[,] King got out of the trunk and ran into a wooded area. He hid in a storage house for hours before seeking help from some road workers. King was eventually taken to the hospital by an ambulance.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officer C.A. Hall testified that he was dispatched to the 9500 block of University City Boulevard at approximately 5:48 a.m. on 6 June 2004. He spoke to King, who gave a statement consistent with his testimony at trial. Hall observed that King's face was severely swollen and cut. After obtainingadditional information from King at the hospital, Hall identified the apartment where the incident occurred as 12002 Apartment A, Diploma Drive in Charlotte. He inspected the apartment's interior and found a mattress [with] blood on it and a broken dinner plate in the first bedroom on the left.
Detective Kimberly Kyle testified that she interviewed King at his residence on 7 October 2004, and interviewed defendant on 13 October 2004. Transcripts and audio recordings of the interviews were published and played to the jury. Defendant told Kyle that he went to the apartment with his friend, Eugene, on 6 June 2004. He saw Eugene knock on the bedroom door, enter the bedroom and brandish a shotgun at a guy [who] was on the bed. Defendant watched while Eugene hit the man, demanded his car keys, and searched his pockets. Defendant denied having a gun but told Kyle that he went into the bedroom and hit the guy with a plate as he was lying on the bed. Defendant then exited the bedroom and saw Eugene lead the male outside at gunpoint. Eugene asked defendant to help him put the male in the trunk of a car; but he remained on the apartment balcony. A women named Elizabeth was standing at the trunk with Eugene[,] but did not assist him.
Defendant offered no evidence but moved to dismiss the charges at the conclusion of the State's evidence. The trial court denied his motion.
On appeal, defendant asserts that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss the robbery with a dangerous weapon charge, absent sufficient evidence to support a rational juryverdict that [he] took or attempted to take the personal property of Mr. King. In reviewing the denial of a motion to dismiss, we must determine whether the evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to the State, would allow a reasonable jury to find defendant guilty of each essential element of the charged offense. State v. Crawford, 344 N.C. 65, 73, 472 S.E.2d 920, 925 (1996) (citing State v. Vause, 328 N.C. 231, 236, 400 S.E.2d 57, 61 (1991)). In considering a motion to dismiss, the trial court is concerned only with sufficiency of the evidence to carry the case to the jury and not its weight. Id. (citing State v. Mercer, 317 N.C. 87, 96, 343 S.E.2d 885, 890 (1986)). The determination of the witnesses' credibility is for the jury. Id. (citing State v. Locklear, 322 N.C. 349, 358, 368 S.E.2d 377, 382-83 (1988)).
We hold that the trial court properly denied defendant's motion. The essential elements of robbery with a dangerous weapon are: (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); N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-87 (2006). King testified that both defendant and his associate pointed guns at him, that [t]hey made me take my clothes off[,] and that [t]hey asked for my car keys. King further averred that his assailants forced him outside and into the trunk of a car after he had surrendered his clothing, wallet, money, jewelry, and cell phone. As corroborated by Officer Hall andDetective Kyle, King's testimony was sufficient to withstand defendant's motion to dismiss and take the case to the jury. State v. Grimes, 96 N.C. App. 489, 493, 386 S.E.2d 214, 216-17 (1989). Although defendant gave police a different account of his participation in the incident, the jury was free to accept King's version of events as true. Crawford, 344 N.C. at 73, 472 S.E.2d at 925 (citing Locklear, 322 N.C. at 358, 368 S.E.2d at 382-83). We note that the trial court properly instructed the jury on the doctrines of concerted action and aiding and abetting a crime. See generally State v. Barnes, 345 N.C. 184, 233, 481 S.E.2d 44, 71 (1997); State v. Tirado, 358 N.C. 551, 582, 599 S.E.2d 515, 536 (2004).
Judges CALABRIA and JACKSON concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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