State v. Alston, 110519 NCCA, COA18-1285

Docket Nº:COA18-1285
Opinion Judge:DILLON, Judge.
Party Name:STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA v. JAQUAIL DONAVEN ALSTON, Defendant.
Attorney:Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Kristin J. Uicker, for the State. Cooley Law Office, by Craig M. Cooley, for Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Judge BROOK concurs. TYSON, Judge, dissenting.
Case Date:November 05, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of North Carolina
 
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STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

v.

JAQUAIL DONAVEN ALSTON, Defendant.

No. COA18-1285

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

November 5, 2019

Appeal 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 2019.

Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Kristin J. Uicker, for the State.

Cooley Law Office, by Craig M. Cooley, for Defendant-Appellant.

DILLON, Judge.

Defendant Jaquail Donaven Alston appeals from a judgment convicting him of felony serious injury by vehicle ("FSIBV"). We affirm.

I. Background

In 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.

Defendant 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 appeal.

II. Analysis

Defendant 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).

Here, 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, on I-73.

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