Heard in the Court of Appeals August 13, 2014.
Mecklenburg County. Nos. 12 CRS 16114, 202039.
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Hugh Harris, for the State.
Appellate Defender Staples Hughes, by Assistant Appellate Defender Jon H. Hunt, for Defendant.
STEPHENS, Judge. Judges CALABRIA and ELMORE concur.
Appeal by Defendant from judgment entered 30 August
2013 by Judge Robert T. Sumner in Mecklenburg County Superior Court.
Procedural and Factual Background
On 6 February 2012, Defendant Stilloan Devoray Robinson was indicted for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, and larceny of a motor vehicle. On 2 April 2012, Defendant was indicted for having attained the status of an habitual felon. The evidence at Defendant's August 2013 trial tended to show the following:
On 13 January 2012, Defendant was arrested just after parking and exiting a car belonging to William Markham which Markham had reported stolen. At the time, Markham and Defendant were roommates at the McCloud Federal Halfway House in Charlotte. Markham testified that, on 10 January 2012, he returned to the house after work, parking his car in a back parking lot. Markham checked in with staff and went to his room. Defendant and Markham's other roommates were present. After changing out of his work clothes, Markham hid his car keys in his shoe and left the room to make a phone call. When Markham returned, he discovered that Defendant and the car keys were both gone. Markham checked the parking lot and saw that his car was missing. Markham testified that he had not given Defendant permission to take his car. A staff member at the halfway house testified that she saw Defendant drive away in Markham's car and called the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Defendant's theory of the case was that Markham had given him permission to use the car on a limited basis. Specifically, Defendant testified that Markham had agreed to loan Defendant the car for one day in exchange for crack cocaine. After being unable to obtain actual crack cocaine, Defendant gave Markham some counterfeit crack cocaine on 10 January 2012. In exchange, Markham gave Defendant his car keys with the understanding that Defendant would return the car by leaving it at a local McDonald's the following day. However, on direct examination, Defendant acknowledged that he kept Markham's car for three days:
Q. About how long would you have ...