Heard in the Court of Appeals 9 September 2014.
Appeal by defendants from judgments entered 18 December 2013 by Judge Walter H. Godwin, Jr., in Edgecombe County Superior Court,
Nos. 13 CRS 51229--30.
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Special Deputy Attorney General David J. Adinolfi II, for the State.
Smith, James, Rowlett & Cohen, LLP, by Seth R. Cohen, for defendant-appellants.
BRYANT, Judge. Chief Judge McGEE and Judge STROUD concur.
Because the jury was presented with substantial evidence of each essential element of the charge that defendants operated or placed into operation an electronic machine to conduct a sweepstakes through the use of an entertaining display, including the entry process or the " reveal" of a prize, we affirm the trial court's denial of defendants' motion to dismiss and find no error in the judgment of the trial court.
On 23 April 2013, a magistrate in Edgecombe County issued arrest warrants for defendants Kawana Spruill and Richard Conoley Chapman on the charge of violating North Carolina General Statutes, section 14-306.4 (" Electronic machines and devices for sweepstakes prohibited" ). The matter came on for trial before a jury in Edgecombe County Superior Court on 17 December 2013, the Honorable Walter H. Godwin, Jr., Judge presiding.
The evidence presented at trial tended to show that defendant Chapman was the owner of Past Times Business Center (" Past Times" ), an internet café, located at 2100 St. Andrews Street, Tabor City, and defendant Spruill was the manager. An undercover officer with the Tabor City Police Department went to Past Times to determine if the café was operating an electronic sweepstakes in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-306.4. The undercover officer testified that he went to Past Times on 11 April 2013, equipped with a surveillance camera. The surveillance video was played for the jury while the officer narrated. The officer presented the cashier
with $25.00. The cashier presented the officer with a disclaimer which states, in part:
I understand that I am purchasing computer time to be used at this location. I also realize that I can request to participate in ...