772 S.E.2d 440 (N.C. 2015), 252PA14, State v. Campbell

Docket Nº:252PA14
Citation:772 S.E.2d 440, 368 N.C. 83
Opinion Judge:NEWBY, Justice.
Party Name:STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA v. THOMAS CRAIG CAMPBELL
Attorney:Roy Cooper, Attorney General, by Teresa M. Postell, Assistant Attorney General, for the State-appellant. Staples S. Hughes, Appellate Defender, by Barbara S. Blackman, Assistant Appellate Defender, for defendant-appellee.
Case Date:June 11, 2015
Court:Supreme Court of North Carolina
 
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Page 440

772 S.E.2d 440 (N.C. 2015)

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

v.

THOMAS CRAIG CAMPBELL

No. 252PA14

Supreme Court of North Carolina

June 11, 2015

Heard April 22, 2015

Page 441

Roy Cooper, Attorney General, by Teresa M. Postell, Assistant Attorney General, for the State-appellant.

Staples S. Hughes, Appellate Defender, by Barbara S. Blackman, Assistant Appellate Defender, for defendant-appellee.

OPINION

Page 442

On discretionary review pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 7A-31 of a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C.App. ___, 759 S.E.2d 380 (2014), vacating in part and reversing in part a judgment entered on 12 June 2013 by Judge Linwood O. Foust in Superior Court, Cleveland County, and remanding for entry of a revised judgment and resentencing thereon. Heard in the Supreme Court on 22 April 2015.

NEWBY, Justice.

In this case we must decide whether an indictment charging defendant with larceny is fatally flawed because it did not specifically state that a church, the alleged co-owner of the stolen property, is an entity capable of owning property, and whether the State presented sufficient evidence of defendant's intent to commit larceny to support his conviction for felonious breaking or entering a place of worship. Because the name of a church necessarily imports an entity capable of owning property, we hold that the indictment was sufficient on its face. Furthermore, we conclude that the State presented sufficient evidence of defendant's criminal intent to commit larceny. Therefore, we reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals and remand this case to that court for consideration of any remaining issues.

On 8 October 2013, the Cleveland County Grand Jury indicted defendant for felony breaking or entering a place of worship and felony larceny after breaking or entering. The larceny indictment specifically alleged that, on 15 August 2012, defendant stole " a music receiver, microphones and sounds system wires, the personal property of Andy Stevens and Manna Baptist Church, . . . in violation of N.C.G.S. [§ ] 14-54.1(a)." Defendant pled not guilty.

At trial, the State's evidence showed that at the conclusion of Sunday services on 19 August 2012, Pastor Andy Stevens of Manna Baptist Church discovered that some audio equipment was missing. Pastor Stevens lives on the Manna Baptist Church property. He testified that the church doors may have been inadvertently left unlocked on 15 August, following Wednesday evening services. When the church secretary arrived the next morning, she locked the doors, and they remained locked until Sunday morning. Although there was no sign of forced entry, Pastor Stevens found defendant's wallet in the baptistry changing area at the back of the church close to where some of the missing equipment previously had been located.

A detective testified that she spoke with defendant at the Cleveland County Detention Center, where he was being held on an unrelated charge. When defendant learned the detective wished to speak with him, he said, " [T]his can't possibly be good. What have I done now that I don't remember?" Defendant then admitted to being at Manna Baptist Church the night the doors were left unlocked. He said he was on " a spiritual journey" and " had done some things," but " did not remember what he had done" in the church.

At the close of the State's evidence, the trial court denied defendant's motion to dismiss the charges based on...

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