STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v. Craven County
No. 05 CRS 53837
RAPHAEL RONDALE WARD
Attorney General Roy A. Cooper, III, by Assistant Attorney
General Brenda Eaddy, for the State.
Jeffrey Evan Noecker, for defendant-appellant.
On 14 November 2005, Raphael Rondale Ward (defendant) pled
guilty to a charge of indecent liberties with a child and was
sentenced to sixteen to twenty months imprisonment. The trial
court suspended the sentence and placed defendant on thirty-six
months of supervised probation.
On 3 August 2006, defendant's probation officer filed a probation violation report alleging that defendant (1) was in arrears on the monetary conditions of his probation; (2) had failed to complete the required psychological assessment and treatment; and (3) had been terminated from his vocational training program for failing to report to work and following the program's rules. On 18 September 2006, the trial court conducted a probation violation hearing. At the hearing, defendant, through his counsel, admitted to each of the alleged violations. Although defendant provided no explanation as to his failure to comply with the monetary conditions of his probation, he asserted that he had not participated in a psychological evaluation or treatment because he did not know where to go for the evaluation. Further, defendant admitted that he had been dismissed from the vocational training program due to missing two scheduled work shifts, but also asserted that he was currently employed. Following the hearing, the trial court found that defendant had violated his probation as alleged in the violation report, revoked defendant's probation, and activated his sentence.
On 21 September 2006, defendant filed a motion for appropriate relief in which he asserted that his counsel's representations at the hearing that defendant had failed to complete a psychological evaluation were incorrect. Defendant's counsel represented that although defendant had informed counsel that he had not had an evaluation, counsel since had learned that defendant had undergone a complete psychological evaluation. On 10 October 2006, the trial court denied defendant's motion for appropriate relief, concluding that even if defendant were permitted to withdraw his admission as to the psychological assessment, the trial court would revoke probation on the grounds of the other admitted probation violations. On appeal, defendant's sole assignment of error is that the trial court abused its discretion in revoking his probation rather than increasing his level of probation supervision. Specifically, defendant asserts that the trial court's failure to impose a lesser penalty was an abuse of discretion because defendant (1) was in compliance with other conditions of probation; and (2) had been employed at the time of the hearing.
To revoke a defendant's probation, the trial court need only find that the defendant has willfully violated a valid condition of probation or that the defendant has violated without lawful excuse a valid condition upon which the sentence was suspended. State v. Hewett, 270 N.C. 348, 353, 154 S.E.2d 476, 480 (1967). The breach of any one condition of probation is sufficient grounds to revoke a defendant's probation. State v. Seay, 59 N.C. App. 667, 670.71, 298 S.E.2d 53, 55 (1982), disc. rev. denied, 307 N.C. 701, 301 S.E.2d 394 (1983). A trial court's judgment revoking a defendant's probation will only be disturbed upon a showing of a manifest abuse of discretion. State v. Guffey, 253 N.C. 43, 45, 116 S.E.2d 148, 150 (1960).
Notwithstanding the question of whether defendant complied with the condition of psychological evaluation and treatment, defendant admitted that he was terminated from a court-ordered work training program for failure to report to work on two occasions and offered only the vague excuse of having moved his residence during those two days. In addition, defendant provided no explanation regarding his failure to comply with the monetaryconditions of his probation. In light of these violations, we conclude the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion by revoking defendant's probation.
Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge CALABRIA concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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