Appeal by defendant from Allen, Judge. Judgment entered 29 January 1981 in Superior Court, Mecklenburg County. Heard in the Court of Appeals 9 February 1982.
Martin (Robert M.), Judge. Judges Webb and Wells concur.
Defendant argues four assignments of error on appeal. We have considered each assignment and conclude that the trial court committed no error which would entitle defendant to a new trial.
The defendant's major challenge is to the sufficiency of the evidence to survive the motion to dismiss.
Upon defendant's motion for dismissal, the question for the Court is whether there is substantial evidence (1) of each essential element of the offense charged, or of a lesser offense included therein, and (2) of defendant's being the perpetrator of such offense. If so, the motion is properly denied. State v. Powell, 299 N.C. 95, 261 S.E.2d 114, 117 (1980).
The evidence presented by the State must be sufficient to convince a rational trier of fact to find each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Riddle, 301 N.C. 153, 270 S.E.2d 476 (1980); Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S. Ct. 2781, 61 L. Ed. 2d 560 (1979).
The evidence is to be considered in the light most favorable to the State; the State is entitled to every reasonable intendment and every reasonable inference to be drawn therefrom; contradictions and discrepancies are for the jury to resolve and do not warrant dismissal; and all of the evidence actually admitted, whether competent or incompetent, which is favorable to the State is to be considered by the court in ruling on the motion. (Citations omitted.)
The trial court in considering such motions is concerned only with the sufficiency of the evidence to carry the case to the jury and not with its weight. [Citations omitted.] The trial court's function is to test whether a reasonable inference of the defendant's guilt of the crime charged may be drawn from the evidence. (Citations omitted.)
The test of the sufficiency of the evidence to withstand the motion is the same whether the evidence is direct, circumstantial or both. [Citation omitted.] "When the motion . . . calls into question the sufficiency of circumstantial evidence, the question for the Court is whether a reasonable
inference of defendant's guilt may be drawn from the circumstances. If so, it is for the jury to decide whether the facts, taken singly or in combination, satisfy them beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is actually guilty." State v. Rowland, supra. [Citations omitted.] In passing on the motion, evidence favorable to the State is to be considered as a whole in order to determine its sufficiency. This is especially true when the evidence is circumstantial since one bit of such evidence will rarely point to a defendant's guilt.
State v. Powell, supra at 99, 261 S.E.2d 117-18.
State's evidence disclosed that Daisey Harris was last seen alive by her grandchildren sometime after 1:00 a.m. on 30 December and that she was found dead by them around 11:00 a.m. the same day. Her body was found in the hallway of her house which adjoined the living room. She was lying in a pool of blood, and there was blood on the walls. Blood-like spots also were found on the piano and piano stool in the living room. The victim had died from a stab wound to the chest and the knife blade was found ...