in the Court of Appeals 6 September 2017.
by defendant from judgments entered 23 September 2016 by
Judge R. Stuart Albright in Guilford County Superior Court
No. 13 CRS 75269.
Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Special Deputy Attorney
General Olga E. Vysotskaya de Brito, for the State.
Bleyman for defendant-appellant.
Levon Jones (defendant) appeals from judgments entered upon
his convictions of misdemeanor assault inflicting serious
injury and robbery with a dangerous weapon. On appeal,
defendant argues that his convictions were obtained
"based upon evidence that was unfairly prejudicial and
[was] admitted in violation of the principle[s] of double
jeopardy [and] collateral estoppel." We have carefully
considered defendant's argument in light of the record on
appeal and the applicable law, and conclude that defendant is
not entitled to relief on the basis of this argument.
and Procedural Background
December 2013, defendant was indicted for the offenses of
armed robbery and felony assault with a deadly weapon
inflicting serious injury. The charges against defendant were
tried before the trial court and a jury beginning on 19
September 2016. Defendant did not testify or present evidence
at trial. The State's evidence is summarized, in relevant
part, as follows.
Kelly testified that he was 69 years old and owned the Small
Luxuries jewelry store in High Point, North Carolina. A
Biscuitville restaurant was located approximately 150 to 200
yards from his store. On 27 March 2013, Mr. Kelly noticed a
gold car without a license plate in the parking lot, with two
African-American men in the car. At approximately 10:00 a.m.,
"three black men" entered the store wearing hooded
sweatshirts. The men, all of whom were armed with handguns,
hit Mr. Kelly on the head with metal objects that he assumed
were their weapons. The men fled from the store after
stealing jewelry that Mr. Kelly estimated to have a value of
$30, 000. Some of the stolen jewelry was later returned by
the police. Mr. Kelly was treated for injuries sustained in
the robbery, including stitches over one eye and a fractured
skull. When law enforcement officers showed Mr. Kelly a
photographic lineup, he was unable to identify any of the men
who had robbed his store.
Kelley testified that on 27 March 2013 she worked at the
Biscuitville restaurant near Mr. Kelly's store. Law
enforcement officers questioned her shortly after the jewelry
store was robbed, and she told them that three
African-American men had eaten at Biscuitville that morning,
and that one of the men had paid with a debit card. At trial
Ms. Kelley testified that she did not recognize defendant.
John Griffiths, the regional vice-president for Wood Forest
National Bank, identified bank documents showing a
transaction in defendant's checking account for a
purchase at Biscuitville on 27 or 28 March 2013.
Riojas testified that on 27 March 2013 she worked at a pawn
shop named Got Gold, that purchased gold, silver, and
jewelry. Ms. Riojas described the general business practices
of Got Gold as follows:
[MS. RIOJAS]: So, a customer would come in and show us what
they wanted to sell. We would test it, make sure if it was
real silver, gold. We would then weigh it, give them a price.
If they accepted the price, we would ask for their ID, make a
photocopy of it, write down the description of the gold that
was sold, ask for their signature. And then we would just put
the - the jewelry in a Ziploc bag and staple it onto the
paper and file it. And then we would then put it in the
computer, send it off to the police department.
Riojas identified a receipt, which was introduced over
defendant's objection, for a transaction that took place
on 27 March 2013, in which a customer sold coins and jewelry.
This exhibit included a list of the pawned items and a copy
of a driver's license issued to defendant.
Point Police Detective Eric Berrier identified a stolen
property receipt that the Police Department provided to Got
Gold upon seizure of stolen property. Winston-Salem Police
Detective Richard Workman testified that in 2013 he
investigated crimes involving pawn shops and dealers in
precious metals. On 28 March 2013, Detective Workman reviewed
a sales receipt from Got Gold and noted certain items of
jewelry that had been sold, including a coin stolen from
Small Luxuries. High Point Police Detective Christopher
Walainin testified that he took a statement from Mr. Kelly
that generally ...