Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Gambrell

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

June 4, 2019

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
KEVIN JAMES GAMBRELL, Defendant.

          Heard in the Court of Appeals 10 April 2019.

          Appeal by Defendant from order entered 7 February 2018 by Judge Joseph Crosswhite in Iredell County No. 17CRS51248 Superior Court.

          Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Special Deputy Attorney General Sonya Calloway-Durham, for the State.

          Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate Defender Wyatt Orsbon, for the Defendant.

          DILLON, Judge.

         Defendant Kevin James Gambrell appeals from an order requiring him to submit to satellite-based monitoring ("SBM") for the rest of his natural life.

         I. Background

         Defendant was charged with and pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a child. Defendant was sentenced in the presumptive range. The State also sought to have Defendant register as a sex-offender and to enroll in SBM. Defendant motioned to dismiss the State's petition for SBM and to declare such program unconstitutional. The trial court denied Defendant's motion to dismiss and, in turn, ordered him to submit to SBM for the rest of his natural life. Defendant timely appealed.

         II. Analysis

         In his appeal, Defendant argues that the State's SBM program is both unreasonable as applied to him and facially unconstitutional. We review a trial court's determination that SBM is reasonable de novo. State v. Bare, 197 N.C.App. 461, 464, 677 S.E.2d 518, 522 (2009), disc. review denied, 364 N.C. 436, 702 S.E.2d 492 (2010). We also review alleged constitutional violations de novo. Piedmont Triad Airport Auth. v. Urbine, 354 N.C. 336, 338, 554 S.E.2d 331, 332 (2001).

         The United States Supreme Court has determined that the monitoring of an individual under North Carolina's SBM program constitutes a continuous warrantless search of that individual. Grady v. North Carolina, __ U.S. __, __, 135 S.Ct. 1368, 1371 (2015). That Court did not state that monitoring an individual under the program was per se unconstitutional, recognizing that "the Fourth Amendment prohibits only unreasonable searches." Id. (emphasis in original). Rather, that Court stated that whether the enrollment of a particular individual for monitoring under the program constitutes a reasonable search "depends on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature and purpose of the search and the extent to which the search intrudes upon reasonable privacy expectations." Id. (emphasis added).

         The "totality of the circumstances" calculus includes whether the sexual offender poses a threat to reoffend. The calculus also includes whether an SBM search would be effective in furthering the State interest in deterring the offender from reoffending. See State v. Bowditch, 364 N.C. 335, 351, 700 S.E.2d 1, 12 (2010) ("The SBM program is concerned with protecting the public against recidivist tendencies of convicted sex offenders.").

         In the present case, Defendant motioned to dismiss the State's petition to enroll him in SBM. A hearing was held on Defendant's motion. At the hearing, the only evidence presented by the State was testimony from a probation officer regarding Defendant's criminal record and the logistics and procedure of SBM, namely that SBM would track the movement of Defendant. While Defendant's status as a recidivist was not disputed, Defendant argued that the State failed to meet its burden to show that SBM was a reasonable method to reduce recidivism in his case.

         Indeed, preventing recidivism among sex offenders is a government interest. And while SBM is not 100% reliable to prevent recidivism, it certainly acts as a deterrent to further criminal conduct. See Bowditch, 364 N.C. at 351, 700 S.E.2d at 12 (acknowledging that the SBM program does not prevent crime but does act as a deterrent); Bare, 197 N.C.App. at 476, 677 S.E.2d at 519 (stating that "SBM could have a deterrent effect. Presumably, sex offenders would be less ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.