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State v. Sheridan

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

February 5, 2019

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
MICHAEL ANTHONY SHERIDAN

          Heard in the Court of Appeals 17 January 2019.

          Appeal by defendant from judgments entered 24 March 2017 by Judge Reuben F. Young in Wake County, Nos. 14 CRS 225411, 225413, 15 CRS 39, 1602, 204121, 204124-25 Superior Court.

          Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Sherri Horner Lawrence, for the State.

          Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate Defender Wyatt Orsbon, for defendant-appellant.

          TYSON, JUDGE.

         Michael Anthony Sheridan ("Defendant") appeals from judgments entered upon a jury's verdicts and convictions of four counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of statutory rape, and one count of sexual offense in a parental role. We find no error in part and remand for appropriate findings on Defendant's pro se speedy trial motion and the trial court's satellite-based monitoring ("SBM") determination.

         I. Background

         T.S. ("Tonya") met Defendant in March 2013, in the Raleigh neighborhood where they both lived. Tonya was fourteen years old and Defendant was forty-four. Defendant told Tonya about and introduced her to his daughter, who was around the same age. Tonya began "hanging out" with Defendant's daughter, and Defendant was "always" around.

         On 14 March 2013, Defendant asked Tonya if she wanted to "hang out" at his house the next day, while she waited for his daughter to get home. The next day, Defendant told Tonya his daughter was home, and she should come over.

         Once she entered his house, Defendant told Tonya they were alone. Defendant took Tonya into his bedroom, began kissing her, removed their clothes, and engaged in her first vaginal intercourse. Defendant and Tonya engaged in vaginal intercourse and fellatio "every day" thereafter, and within a week or two Tonya came to believe she was "in love" with Defendant.

         Tonya moved with her family to Hertford County in November 2013. Defendant continued engaging in sexual relations with Tonya after the move, when she returned to Raleigh with her mother to visit in the area. In June 2014, Tonya moved back to Raleigh and lived with Defendant. Defendant had told Tonya she could choose where she wanted to live after she turned sixteen years old. Tonya told her mother Defendant had offered her a job in Raleigh, and she was going to live with and work for him.

         Defendant and Tonya shared a bed when she moved in with him and immediately resumed their sexual relationship. Their near daily sexual activity occurred before and after Tonya's sixteenth birthday. Between 2013 and 2014, Tonya used Defendant's phone at his request to take four or five nude photographs of herself. Defendant purchased food and clothing for Tonya and gave her a bank card to use for expenses.

         On 27 October 2014, Defendant and Tonya argued. At Tonya's request, her grandmother dropped her off at her mother's boyfriend's house in Harnett County. Tonya's mother's boyfriend refused to allow Tonya to stay, and she returned to Defendant's house in a taxicab late that night.

         When she arrived, Tonya found Defendant naked in bed with another woman. Tonya requested Defendant to pay for her cab fare, but he refused. An argument ensued and the police were called. The cab driver retained all of Tonya's luggage and belongings for the unpaid fare. Tonya was arrested and taken to jail for failing to pay the cab fare.

         Tonya was released from jail at approximately 3:00 a.m. on 28 October 2014 and walked back to Defendant's home from the jail. The other woman was still at the house. Defendant and Tonya argued, and the other woman was driven home by Defendant's housemate. Tonya and Defendant slept in the same bedroom, but upon waking continued to argue, mainly about access to a phone. Defendant had provided Tonya with a phone when she had moved in, but he had taken it away from her.

         Tonya attempted to retrieve the phone while Defendant was in the shower, but Defendant allegedly began to physically assault her. Tonya grabbed a beer bottle and struck him on the head. Defendant escalated the assault, and when Tonya fell to the floor, she saw a knife and grabbed it. Defendant and Tonya grappled with the knife, but she regained control of it and stabbed Defendant. The assaults continued, and Defendant's mother called 911.

         Officers arrived and Tonya was transported to the hospital and underwent a sexual assault examination. Tonya told police officers that Defendant had raped her that day and had been sexually active with her prior to that occurrence. Tonya was placed into foster care. Soon after, Tonya learned she was pregnant again and gave birth to a son. She had previously aborted an earlier pregnancy. Subsequent DNA testing confirmed to a confidence interval of 99% that Defendant was the father of the child.

         Defendant was indicted for four counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of statutory rape, one count of sexual offense in a parental role, one count of indecent liberties with a minor, and of attaining habitual felon status. Defendant had retained counsel, but filed a pro se motion for a speedy trial on 14 April 2015, while being incarcerated in the Wake County Jail for approximately six months. Even though Defendant was represented by counsel, the trial court heard and denied the pro se motion.

         Defendant's case was called for trial on 20 March 2017. The jury's verdict found Defendant guilty of the four counts of sexual exploitation, two counts of statutory rape, and one count of sexual offense in a parental role. The State dismissed the charges of indecent liberties and Defendant having attained habitual felon status. Defendant was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of 317-441 months, one consecutive sentence of 33-100 months, and four consecutive sentences of 96-176 months. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender and enroll in SBM for the remainder of his natural life.

         Defendant gave oral notice of appeal in open court, but did not enter written notice of appeal of the civil SBM order. Defendant has subsequently filed a petition for writ of certiorari to seek review of the civil SBM.

         II. Jurisdiction

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

         III. ...


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