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State v. Williams

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

March 7, 2017

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
TEON JAMELL WILLIAMS, Defendant.

          Heard in the Court of Appeals 11 January 2017.

         Appeal by Defendant from judgment entered 1 February 2016 and order entered 3 February 2016 by Judge Julia Lynn Gullett in Iredell County Superior Court No. 15 CRS 3580.

          Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Thomas O. Lawton, III, for the State.

          Meghan Adelle Jones for the Defendant.

          DILLON, JUDGE.

         Teon Jamell Williams ("Defendant") entered an Alford plea to possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver ("PWIMSD") a Schedule I controlled substance and attaining habitual felon status. Defendant reserved the right to appeal the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained during a search of his residence. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         I. Background

          In 2013, during a routine search of Defendant's residence, Defendant's probation officer discovered a bag containing a white, powdery substance. Laboratory results determined that the bag contained two separate Schedule I substances, Methylone and 4-Methylethcathinone. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-89(5)(j) (2013).

         Defendant was indicted for PWIMSD "Methylethcathinone, " where the prefix "4" was inadvertently omitted from the drug name, and for PWIMSD Methylone. Prior to his trial, Defendant filed a motion to suppress, which was denied by the trial court. He was convicted on both counts and given consecutive sentences. In the first appeal to this Court, we affirmed Defendant's conviction for PWIMSD Methylone; however, we vacated Defendant's conviction for PWIMSD "Methylethcathinone" because the name of the controlled substance, an essential element of the crime, was not properly alleged in the indictment. State v. Williams, ___ N.C. App. ___, ___, 774 S.E.2d 880, 885-86 (2015) (unpublished).

         In 2015, the State indicted Defendant for PWIMSD "4-Methylethcathinone" rather than simply "Methylethcathinone." Defendant filed a motion to suppress which was functionally identical to the motion to suppress he filed prior to his first trial. The trial court denied the second motion to suppress based on the doctrine of collateral estoppel, stating that the motion "relate[d] to the same chain of events and same transaction and occurrence . . . and relate[d] to the same issues" as Defendant's first motion to suppress heard prior to the first appeal.

         Following the denial of his second suppression motion, Defendant was found guilty PWIMSD of 4-Methylethcathinone, a Schedule I substance, and was sentenced accordingly. Defendant gave notice of appeal in open court.[1]

         II. Analysis

         On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in sentencing him a second time for possession of what he contends was a single Schedule I substance. Alternatively, Defendant argues that the trial court erred in ...


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