in the Court of Appeals 21 August 2017.
by defendant from judgments entered 15 August 2016 by Judge
Robert T. Sumner in Catawba County Superior Court Nos. 12 CRS
Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Special Deputy Attorney
General Daniel P. O'Brien, for the State.
Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate
Defender Kathryn L. VandenBerg, for defendant.
case began when law enforcement discovered an abandoned,
burned car with a woman's body inside. Officers arrested
Defendant Jermaine Wilkes and, during questioning after his
arrest, Wilkes implicated himself in the woman's murder.
later moved to suppress those incriminating statements on the
ground that law enforcement lacked probable cause to arrest
him. The trial court denied the motion to suppress and Wilkes
challenges that denial on appeal.
explained below, we reject Wilkes's arguments. At the
time law enforcement arrested Wilkes, they had already
visited the victim's home and found a knife on a chair
near a window with a cut screen. Later, when officers
questioned the victim's boyfriend, he admitted that he
was with Wilkes at the victim's home on the night of the
murder and that, after the victim locked the two men out of
her house, the boyfriend cut the screen, entered the house
through the window, unlocked the front door from the inside,
and let Wilkes back in.
facts and circumstances constituted sufficient, reasonably
trustworthy information from which a reasonable officer could
believe that Wilkes had committed a breaking and entering.
Thus, regardless of whether the officers had probable cause
to arrest Wilkes for murder, we agree with the trial court
that the officers had probable cause to arrest Wilkes for
that lesser crime. Accordingly, we reject Wilkes's
arguments and affirm the trial court's judgments.
and Procedural History
Wilkes is the cousin of Antoine Reid. On the evening of 6
June 2012, Wilkes and Reid arrived at the home of the victim,
Brianne Ginty, to have drinks and to play cards. Reid was Ms.
Ginty and Reid argued throughout the evening and, after one
argument, Reid and Wilkes left the house. Once outside, Reid
tried to go back in but discovered that Ms. Ginty had locked
the door behind them. Reid used a knife and a chair located
on the porch to cut out a window screen and pry open a window
on the side of the house. He then climbed through the window
and opened the front door so Wilkes could enter as well.
was back inside, Reid continued to argue with Ms. Ginty until
he finally decided to walk home, leaving Wilkes behind.
Wilkes and Ms. Ginty then followed Reid home in Ms.
Ginty's car, offering to give Reid a ride home. Reid
initially agreed, but when he and Ms. Ginty continued to
argue, Reid decided to resume his walk home instead.
got out of the car sometime between 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
and claims that this was the last time he saw Ms. Ginty
alive. Reid's mother ...