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State v. Glisson

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

February 7, 2017


          Heard in the Court of Appeals 2 November 2016.

         Appeal by Defendant from judgment entered 12 September 2014 by Judge Kenneth F. Crow in Jones County Superior Court, Nos. 12 CRS 50869-72, 78-79

          Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General David D. Lennon, for the State.

          Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate Defender Katherine Jane Allen, for Defendant-Appellant.

          INMAN, Judge.

         Deborah Lynn Glisson ("Defendant") appeals from a judgment finding her guilty of, inter alia, felonious conspiracy to traffic opium by sale and delivery and possession of oxycodone with intent to sell and deliver. Defendant contends the trial court erred by denying her motion to dismiss the conspiracy charge related to the controlled buy on 13 September 2012 for insufficiency of the evidence. After careful review, we hold that Defendant has failed to demonstrate error.

         I. Factual and Procedural History

          Defendant was indicted on 5 August 2013, 28 April 2014, and 4 August 2014 for eighteen drug-related offenses arising from three separate controlled buys arranged by the Jones County Sheriff's Office between August and December 2012. The evidence at trial tended to show the following:

         On or about August 2012, an informant with the Jones County Sheriff's Office contacted Detective Timothy Corey ("Detective Corey") and informed him that a couple, believed to be husband and wife, were selling oxycodone. At Detective Corey's direction, the informant arranged for a controlled buy from Defendant.

         On 16 August 2012, Detective Corey and the informant met Defendant, who was accompanied by James Adkins ("Adkins"), in a parking lot in Pottersville, North Carolina. Defendant and Adkins arrived in a Ford Focus, which Defendant was driving. Defendant exited the Ford and walked over to the informant's vehicle to talk with him. The informant introduced Detective Corey as a family member from out of town who wanted to buy oxycodone. After a short conversation, Detective Corey requested oxycodone and paid Defendant $140. Defendant then turned to the passenger side front seat of the Ford and spoke with Adkins, who produced a pill bottle. Defendant counted out a number of pills and gave them to Detective Corey. The pills were later confirmed to be oxycodone.

         Detective Corey and the informant then arranged for a second controlled buy from Defendant. On or about 13 September 2012, [1] Detective Corey met the informant in an unfinished subdivision, and shortly thereafter, at dusk, Defendant and Adkins arrived in the same Ford Focus Defendant had driven to the initial controlled buy. Defendant told Detective Corey that she did not like the meeting location "because it's a subdivision that, you know, she don't know where anybody is coming from." Defendant gave Detective Corey twenty oxycodone pills in exchange for $80.

         Detective Corey set up a third controlled buy to take place on 7 December 2012 in the same unfinished subdivision as the second controlled buy. Defendant told Detective Corey that she had to pick up Adkins before the meeting. Detective Corey met Defendant and Adkins and paid Defendant $200. Adkins then handed Detective Corey thirty-four oxycodone pills. Defendant was arrested immediately after delivering the pills to Detective Corey.

         At the close of the State's evidence, Defendant made an oral motion to dismiss on all charges. Defendant's trial counsel argued that the State's evidence and testing methods were insufficient to satisfy the minimum weight requirement element for the charge of trafficking opium. The trial court dismissed one trafficking in opium by possession charge and reduced the other two charges from trafficking in opium to sale and delivery of opium. Defendant chose not to testify and presented no evidence. Her counsel renewed her general motion to dismiss all remaining charges based on the insufficiency of the evidence. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Following a meeting with counsel in chambers, the trial court dismissed the trafficking allegations in the conspiracy charges, reducing those charges to conspiracy to sell opium, conspiracy to deliver opium, and conspiracy to possess with intent to sell or deliver opium. The trial court reviewed the jury instructions with Defendant's trial counsel, who agreed with the proposed instructions regarding each conspiracy charge.

         The jury returned a guilty verdict on all remaining charges, except that the jury found the lesser included offense of knowingly (rather than intentionally) maintaining a motor vehicle to possess and sell oxycodone on the ...

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