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State v. Hendricksen

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

January 2, 2018

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA,
v.
ERIC J. HENDRICKSEN, Defendant.

          Heard in the Court of Appeals 18 April 2017.

         Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 26 January 2016 by Judge Kendra D. Hill in Superior Court, Johnston County. No. 14 CRS 54666

          Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Rajeev K. Premakumar, for the State.

          Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate Defender Daniel L. Spiegel, for defendant-appellant.

          STROUD, JUDGE.

         Defendant, Eric Hendricksen ("defendant") appeals from his conviction of robbery with a dangerous weapon. On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred by imposing punishment for robbery with a dangerous weapon where he had previously pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods and the stolen goods were obtained in the robbery. We find no error in the trial court's judgment.

         I. Background

         Opinion of the Court

         The evidence showed that on the night of 28 July 2014, a masked man armed with a gun, later identified as defendant, entered the I-40 Supergas gas station and convenience store in Johnston County, North Carolina. Defendant demanded money from the clerk behind the counter, Sunny Kapoor. When Mr. Kapoor informed defendant that the cash register was locked and had to be opened up, defendant jumped over the counter with a bag in one hand and a gun in the other, demanding the money from the register. Mr. Kapoor opened the register and defendant took the money from the register. Defendant took approximately $1, 900.00 in cash from the register. After taking the money, defendant then demanded lottery tickets. The lottery ticket dispensers were locked, and defendant forced Mr. Kapoor to open them at gunpoint. Defendant then stuffed lottery tickets into his bag. After defendant had taken the cash and lottery tickets, he told Mr. Kapoor to get down and he left the store. Once outside of the store, defendant fired his gun. After the robbery, defendant went to an acquaintance's home and said he had "just done a job and had a pocket full of money."

         On 30 July and 31 July 2014, defendant traveled to locations in Harnett County where he attempted to cash out lottery tickets he acquired from the robbery. Detective Rodney Byrd of the Johnston County Sherriff's Office was lead investigator of the 28 July 2014 armed robbery of the I-40 Supergas in Benson. Detective Byrd called the North Carolina Education Lottery to provide information of the theft so the system could track the stolen lottery tickets. On 30 July 2014, Detective Byrd received a call from the North Carolina Lottery informing him that a flagged lottery ticket had been cashed at a Wilco Hess store in Harnett County. On the way to investigate that report, Detective Byrd received another call from the North Carolina Lottery informing him there had been an attempt to cash a second flagged lottery ticket at a Kangaroo store, also in Harnett County.

         During his investigation, Detective Byrd obtained a search warrant for defendant's residence. In the search of the residence, Detective Byrd found incriminating evidence, and he seized clothing and a gun based upon his observation of the surveillance footage from the Supergas on the night of the robbery.

         On 3 September 2014, arrest warrants were issued for defendant in both Johnston and Harnett counties. Defendant was charged in Johnston County for robbery with a dangerous weapon and second degree kidnapping and in Harnett County with five counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods, four counts of felony attempted obtaining property by false pretenses, and one count of felony obtaining property by false pretenses. On 2 December 2014, a Johnston County grand jury returned a true bill on an indictment of defendant for robbery with a dangerous weapon and second degree kidnapping.

         On 17 March 2015, defendant pled guilty in Harnett County to two counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods, and Harnett County dismissed the attempted obtaining property by false pretenses charge. The stolen goods identified in the Harnett County case were two lottery tickets.

         Defendant was tried on the Johnston County charges in Johnston County Superior Court on 19 January 2016. At the close of the State's evidence, defendant moved to dismiss the charges, and the trial court granted the dismissal of the charge of second degree kidnapping. Defendant renewed his motion to dismiss the robbery charge at the close of all the evidence, but the trial court once ...


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