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State v. Wilson

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

September 16, 2014

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
JAMES LEWIS WILSON, JR

Heard in the Court of Appeals August 12, 2014.

Guilford County. No. 11 CRS 082533.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Special Deputy Attorney General David P. Brenskelle, for the State.

Kimberly P. Hoppin for Defendant.

McGEE, Chief Judge. Judges BRYANT and STROUD concur.

Page 895

Appeal by Defendant from judgment entered 22 March 2013 by Judge David L. Hall in Superior Court, Guilford County.

OPINION

McGEE, Chief Judge.

James Lewis Wilson (" Defendant" ) appeals his conviction of attempted first-degree murder. Defendant contends tat (1) the corresponding short form indictment against him for attempted first-degree murder was defective and (2) he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. We agree that the indictment against Defendant was defective, but we do not agree that Defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel.

I. Background

Around five or six in the evening of 19 July 2011, Timothy Lynch (" Mr. Lynch" ) was walking on a street in the Five Points area in High Point. Mr. Lynch was accompanied by a small group of people.

A blue Cavalier (" the Cavalier" ) approached and stopped near where Mr. Lynch and his companions were standing. Four men inside the Cavalier, including Defendant, exited the vehicle. Defendant had been riding in the front passenger seat of the Cavalier and was carrying a gun. Defendant testified at trial that the four men were there to confront Mr. Lynch, whom they believed had recently beaten up Defendant's cousin. Defendant further testified that, upon exiting the Cavalier, he pointed his gun at the group with Mr. Lynch in order to get them to disperse. Mr. Lynch's companions fled the scene immediately, but Mr. Lynch remained.

There was conflicting testimony as to what happened next. Multiple witnesses testified that Defendant pulled on the slide of his gun to cock it and then pointed the gun at Mr. Lynch. One witness testified that Defendant next tried to pull the trigger three or four times, but the gun jammed and did not fire. Defendant testified that he tried to cock the gun after Mr. Lynch's companions began running, but the slide itself was jammed and did not move in spite of his multiple efforts. Defendant also testified that he never pointed the gun at Mr. Lynch or tried to pull the trigger after the crowd dispersed.

Defendant then left in the Cavalier, along with the three men who were accompanying him. However, the police soon pulled over the vehicle and took Defendant into custody. Upon performing a protective sweep of the Cavalier, ...


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