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State v. Blakney

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

April 15, 2014

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
CHRISTOPHER LEON BLAKNEY, Defendant

Heard in the Court of Appeals February 19, 2014.

Forsyth County. Nos. 11 CRS 51776, 11 CRS 6612, 11 CRS 13553. William Z. Wood, Jr., Judge.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Special Deputy Attorney General James M. Stanley, Jr., for the State.

Appellate Defender Staples Hughes, by Assistant Appellate Defender Kathleen M. Joyce, for defendant-appellant.

BRYANT, Judge. Judges STEPHENS and DILLON concur.

OPINION

Page 845

Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 13 February 2013 by Judge William Z. Wood, Jr., in Forsyth County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 19 February 2014.

BRYANT, Judge.

Where the State presents sufficient evidence of each element of an offense, a motion to dismiss is properly denied. Where defendant can show no prejudice from irrelevant evidence admitted during an habitual felon proceeding, any error therefrom is harmless.

On 23 February 2011, Officer Neff of the Winston-Salem Police Department observed a car speeding and crossing the double-yellow center line while driving on Silas Creek Parkway around 10:00 p.m. Officer Neff initiated a traffic stop of the car and noticed that the driver, defendant Christopher Leon Blakney, smelled of alcohol and had glassy, bloodshot eyes. Officer Neff arrested defendant under suspicion of driving while impaired and called for assistance; Officer Allen responded.

While searching defendant's car, Officer Allen found marijuana under the center armrest. A large amount of cash was found on the car's front floorboard along with a glass Mason jar containing marijuana residue. A digital scale and batteries were also found underneath the front seats. A white shopping bag containing a box of sandwich baggies and a glass Mason jar of marijuana was found in the trunk, along with a second bag containing additional marijuana packaging supplies. Four " dime bags" of marijuana were also found in the trunk.[1] A total of 84.8 grams (2.99 ounces) of marijuana was recovered from defendant's car.

On 16 May 2011, a Forsyth County Grand Jury indicted defendant for possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while impaired, and driving while license revoked. Defendant was also indicted as an habitual felon.

On 13 February 2013, a jury found defendant guilty of possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving while license revoked. Defendant was found not guilty of driving while impaired. The jury also found defendant guilty of having attained the status of an habitual felon. The trial court sentenced defendant to 88 to 115 months in prison. Defendant appeals.

On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in: (I) denying defendant's motion to dismiss; ...


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