Heard in the Court of Appeals: March 18, 2014.
Counsel Amended May 15, 2014.
Person County. No. 11 CRS 52522. Henry W. Hight, Judge.
Mr. E. Burke Haywood, Primary Attorney, Special Deputy Attorney General, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Raleigh, NC, for Plaintiff-Appellee - State of North Carolina.
Ms. Winifred H. Dillon, Primary Attorney, Attorney at Law, Garner, NC, for Defendant-Appellant - Bailey, Shawn Rondel.
HUNTER, Robert C., Judge. Judges BRYANT and STEELMAN concur.
HUNTER, Robert C., Judge.
Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 17 September 2013 by Judge Henry W. Hight,
Jr. in Person County Superior Court.
Defendant Shawn Bailey appeals the judgment entered after a jury convicted him of possession of a firearm bye a convicted felon. On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss for insufficiency of the evidence.
After careful review, because the State failed to produce circumstantial evidence that defendant constructively possessed the firearm, we reverse the order denying his motion to dismiss.
On 25 November 2011, Deputy Dustin Harris (" Deputy Harris" ) and Deputy Adam Norris (" Deputy Norris" ) of the Person County Sheriff's office were standing outside the law enforcement center in Roxboro when they heard multiple, rapidly-fired gunshots coming from the Harris Gardens Apartments (" the apartments" ). Deputies Harris and
Norris responded to the scene of the gunshots. As Deputy Harris entered the apartment complex, he saw a dark-colored, four-door sedan leaving. A female was driving the car, and defendant was in the passenger seat. The driver was later identified as Sherika Torrain (" Ms. Torrain" ), defendant's girlfriend. The car was registered to defendant. Deputy Harris turned his car around, followed the sedan briefly, and then stopped it. Deputy Harris asked if there were any weapons in the car; according to Deputy Harris, defendant replied " yes" and told him that there was a gun on the floor in the back. Deputy Norris saw the weapon, which was later identified as an AK-47 assault rifle (" the rifle" ). The rifle ...