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State v. Massey

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

May 7, 2019

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
DAMON MARIO MASSEY

          Heard in the Court of Appeals April 23, 2019.

          Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 17 May 2018 by Judge Forrest D. Bridges in Mecklenburg County Superior Court. No. 15 CRS 238695

          Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Cathy Hinton Pope, for the State.

          Mark L. Hayes for defendant-appellant.

          TYSON, JUDGE.

         Damon Mario Massey ("Defendant") appeals from a judgment entered after a jury found him guilty of first-degree kidnapping. We find no error.

         I. Background

         Jaz Automotive is a used car dealership and auto repair shop located in Charlotte. Approximately two weeks before the kidnapping at issue occurred on 26 October 2015, Defendant brought his white Chevrolet 3500 pickup truck to Jaz Automotive to have his power steering repaired. Shawn Kinard was one of the mechanics who worked on Defendant's truck. Kinard and mechanics replaced the power steering pump in the truck. Defendant's truck was operating normally when he picked it up from Jaz.

         Defendant returned to Jaz Automotive with a tow truck towing his pickup truck on Saturday, 24 October 2015. Defendant told Kinard his pickup truck would not start. Kinard testified, in part: "[Defendant] was insinuating as if it was something we had [done] when we replaced the power steering pump." Kinard asked Defendant to return on Monday to speak to one of the owners of Jaz Automotive.

         Defendant returned to Jaz Automotive the following Monday, 26 October 2015. Defendant had his truck towed to the front of Jaz's parking lot. Defendant entered the offices of Jaz Automotive and began speaking with Grady Lockhart ("Lockhart"), one of Jaz's owners. During this time, Kinard was working on another vehicle in the back part of Jaz's parking lot, away from where Defendant's truck was parked. Lockhart accompanied Defendant to speak with Kinard about the pickup truck.

         After Defendant spoke with Kinard about the pickup truck, Kinard told him to "give me a few minutes" and "I'll see what I can do." Defendant returned to his truck while Kinard continued working on another customer's vehicle.

         A short time later, Kinard looked up and saw Defendant walking towards him wearing a tactical vest and carrying a shotgun. Lockhart observed Defendant was carrying a shotgun and walking towards Kinard. Lockhart called 911. Kinard testified "[Defendant] walked up on me and he clicked the shotgun and he asked me, 'Do you have time to look at my truck now?' And so I proceeded to put my hands up and say, 'Let's go look at your truck.'" Kinard walked to the front of the lot where Defendant's picktup truck was parked, while Defendant pointed his shotgun at Kinard's back.

         Defendant told Kinard "If you make any sudden moves . . . I'll put a bullet in your back right here." Kinard looked into the engine bay of Defendant's pickup truck, while Defendant pointed the shotgun at him. Defendant fired a shot at the ground, close to Kinard's feet. Defendant pumped the shotgun again, turned his back to Kinard and fired a shot into the air.

         While Defendant was turned away from him, Kinard ran out of the lot to a gas station located down the road and called 911. Defendant did not tell Kinard he was free to leave.

         Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Sergeant Bryan Crum ("Sergeant Crum") was the first law enforcement officer to arrive on the scene. Sergeant Crum parked his vehicle a short distance from Jaz Automotive. Sergeant Crum observed "a guy walking through the parking lot carrying a shotgun, had a hat on and he was smoking a cigarette." Sergeant Crum later identified this person as Defendant. Sergeant Crum drew his firearm and ordered Defendant to put the shotgun down. Defendant placed the shotgun in the back seat of his pickup truck and was arrested. Sergeant Crum observed a gunshot mark in the asphalt pavement in front of Defendant's pickup truck. Police recovered the shotgun Defendant had wielded along with the tactical vest Defendant had been observed wearing. A sheathed machete was present on the back portion of the tactical vest.

         Defendant was charged with second-degree kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, assault by pointing a gun, discharging a firearm within a city limit, and first-degree kidnapping with the use or display of a firearm. Prior to trial, the State ...


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