Heard in the Court of Appeals February 19, 2014.
Wake County. Nos. 12 CRS 215921, 215922. G. Wayne Abernathy, Judge.
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Richard G. Sowerby, for the State.
McCotter Ashton, P.A., by Rudolph A. Ashton, III, for defendant-appellant.
McCULLOUGH, Judge. Judges HUNTER, Robert C., and GEER concur.
Appeal by defendant from judgments entered 5 April
2013 by Judge G. Wayne Abernathy in Wake County Superior Court.
Antonio Neal Gray (" defendant" ) appeals from judgments entered upon his convictions for attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, and first degree burglary. For the following reasons, we find no error.
On 16 July 2012, defendant was arrested pursuant to warrants finding probable cause to believe defendant committed the following offenses on 11 July 2012: two counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, and one count of first degree burglary. On 11 September 2012 a Wake County Grand Jury indicted defendant on the charges in case numbers 12 CRS 215921 and 215922. Defendant pled not guilty and his cases came on for trial in Wake County Superior Court before the Honorable G. Wayne Abernathy on 3 April 2013.
At trial the State's evidence tended to show the following: Isai Ntirenganya was a car dealer and a club promoter in Raleigh. Through his role as a promoter, Mr. Ntirenganya met Alneisa McKoy, who expressed interest in doing some promotion work. On the evening of 11 July 2012, Mr. Ntirenganya met up with Ms. McKoy and her friend, Allison Smith, at a sweepstakes parlor and took them to his friend's home in a trailer park off New Bern Avenue to talk about promotion work. Mr. Ntirenganya's friend, Kory Clark, was the only one home at the time.
Mr. Ntirenganya and Mr. Clark both testified that they and the two women were just hanging out, talking about promotion opportunities, drinking, and smoking marijuana. Mr. Ntirenganya and Mr. Clark recalled that during this time, Ms. McKoy and Ms. Smith were on their phones texting, were giggling and whispering to each other, and were back and forth to the bathroom numerous times. Mr. Clark found their behavior suspicious.
At some point, Mr. Clark left the trailer to buy beer and cigarettes from a nearby convenience store. The women wanted to go with Mr. Clark and leave Mr. Ntirenganya by himself, but Mr. Clark left without them. When Mr. Clark returned several minutes later, he locked the door behind him.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Ntirenganya and Ms. McKoy went to a back room in the trailer to talk. At that time, two men burst through the door that Mr. Clark had locked upon his return from the convenience store. Mr. Ntirenganya testified that someone jumped on his back and they tumbled to the floor. Mr. Ntirenganya recalled someone instructing him to " [g]et on the ground" and a female screaming " [s]omebody got a gun." The man that jumped on Mr. Ntirenganya's back was smaller than Mr. Ntirenganya and Mr. Ntirenganya was able to wrestle away from him and flee the trailer.
Mr. Clark testified that he heard the commotion and fled the trailer through another door. Mr. Clark did not see the intruders.
Both Mr. Ntirenganya and Mr. Clark indicated that nothing appeared to be missing from the trailer following the attempted robbery. Mr. Ntirenganya's wallet and keys, which were on top of cabinets near the door, appeared undisturbed.
In addition to Mr. Ntirenganya and Mr. Clark, Ms. Smith and Ms. McKoy testified at trial. Their testimony revealed that they planned to rob Mr. Ntirenganya with James Diaz and defendant, who they identified as the intruders. At the time, Ms. Smith was in a relationship with Mr. Diaz and Ms. McKoy was in a relationship with defendant. Although defendant did not initially want to take part in the robbery, he went along with the plan. Ms. Smith and Ms. McKoy each described the plan in detail and testified that they were communicating with Mr. Diaz and defendant through text messages to give directions to the trailer, to inform them how ...