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State v. Howard

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

June 5, 2018

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
TAMMY RENEE HOWARD

          Heard in the Court of Appeals 2 May 2018.

          Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 16 March 2017 by Judge Daniel A. Kuehnert in Mecklenburg County No. 15 CRS 222077 Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 2 May 2018.

          Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Torrey D. Dixon, for the State.

          Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate Defender Jillian C. Katz, for defendant-appellant.

          TYSON, Judge.

         Tammy Renee Howard ("Defendant") appeals from judgment entered upon a jury's conviction of felonious use or possession of counterfeit trademark goods with intent to sell and having a value exceeding $10, 000. We find no error in the trial court's denial of Defendant's motion to suppress. We remand to the trial court to enter appropriate conclusions of law.

         I. Background

         On 22 June 2015, North Carolina Secretary of State's Trademark Enforcement Division Special Agent Derek Wiles ("Agent Wiles") obtained a search warrant to search the residence and vehicles located at 13606 Coram Place in Charlotte, North Carolina. During the search of the premises, Agent Wiles and his team discovered counterfeit items located in the house, garage, and inside a van parked adjacent to the house. The officers seized hundreds of counterfeit items, including handbags, watches, and sunglasses, as well as over 2700 designer labels, with an approximate suggested retail value of two million dollars.

         Defendant was indicted for felony criminal use of counterfeit trademark on 19 January 2016. On 13 March 2017, she filed a motion to suppress all the evidence recovered and all statements made in connection with the search of 13606 Coram Place. The trial court denied Defendant's motion. Defendant failed to object to the subsequent entry and admission at trial of evidence obtained as a result of the search.

         The jury returned a verdict finding Defendant guilty of felony use or possession of counterfeit trademark goods. Defendant was sentenced to 6-17 months imprisonment, which was suspended for 36 months of supervised probation. Defendant was required to serve an active sentence of 45 days during the first 12 months of her probation. Defendant entered timely notice of appeal.

         II. Jurisdiction

         An appeal of right lies with this Court pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 7A-27(b) and 15A-1444(a) (2017).

         III. Issues Defendant argues the trial court erred by denying her motion to suppress, and in the alternative, the trial court erred by failing to provide its rationale during its ruling from the bench.

         IV. Motion to Suppress

         A. Standard of Review

         Defendant failed to object at trial to the entry of the evidence obtained from the search of 13606 Coram Place to preserve the error, but has assigned plain error review on appeal. See State v. ...


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