by Defendant from judgment entered 8 March 2018 by Judge V.
Bradford Long in Randolph County Nos. 16CRS1115, 52524
Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 18 September
Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney
General Kristin J. Uicker, for the State.
Law Office, by Craig M. Cooley, for Defendant-Appellant.
Jaquail Donaven Alston appeals from a judgment convicting him
of felony serious injury by vehicle ("FSIBV"). We
April 2017, a grand jury indicted Defendant for FSIBV,
driving while impaired, and driving while license revoked.
Eleven months later, in March 2018, Defendant pleaded guilty
to the FSIBV charge and the other two charges were dropped,
as part of a plea agreement.
petitioned our Court for a writ of certiorari to
review whether the prosecutor's factual basis presented
to the trial court was not sufficient. We grant
certiorari to consider the merits of Defendant's
alleges that the factual basis put forth by the prosecutor
was insufficient to warrant an informed decision by the trial
court. Our General Assembly has provided that "[t]he
judge may not accept a plea of guilty or no contest without
first determining that there is a factual basis for the
plea" but that "[t]his determination may be based
upon . . . a statement of facts by the prosecutor[.]"
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1022(c) (2018). See State v.
Atkins, 349 N.C. 62, 95-97, 505 S.E.2d 97, 118-19 (1998)
(concluding that the prosecutor's factual summary was
sufficient to allow the trial court to accept a
defendant's guilty plea).
after the trial judge read the plea transcript to Defendant,
the prosecutor gave the following factual summary:
This matter occurred on [25 May 2016], Your Honor. It was
investigated by the highway patrol. On that date, Your Honor,
they received a call at 3 o'clock in the morning, Your
Honor. The vehicle had a one car accident. It had veered off
the road and struck a tree and then flipped over, Your Honor,
When they arrived there, there were three individuals, Your
Honor, a male, female and small child, I believe at the time
was an infant, five months or so. The EMTs, Your Honor, had
taken the individuals to the hospital. At the hospital, Your
Honor, Mr. Alston was acting erratically - unresponsive and
acting erratically, so they drew the blood, Your Honor. The
EMT noted to the hospital that he was the driver.
When they actually questioned him, Your Honor, when he was
responsive, he did say he was the driver. At the hospital,
blood was drawn. He was then released. . . . His girlfriend
was there with her baby, Your Honor. The baby was injured and
flown to another hospital. His wife then said, "No, no,
I was the driver." She gave a statement that she ...