State v. Haith, 110519 NCCA, COA18-1169

Docket Nº:COA18-1169
Opinion Judge:Arrowood, Judge.
Party Name:STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA v. JONATHAN EUGENE HAITH
Attorney:Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Special Deputy Attorney General Kimberley A. D'Arruda, for the State. The Epstein Law Firm PLLC, by Drew Nelson, for defendant.
Judge Panel:Judges ZACHARY and DIETZ concur.
Case Date:November 05, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of North Carolina
 
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STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

v.

JONATHAN EUGENE HAITH

No. COA18-1169

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

November 5, 2019

An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Heard in the Court of Appeals 2 October 2019.

Appeal by defendant from judgments entered 12 July 2018 by Judge R. Stuart Albright in Guilford County Nos. 17 CRS 24530, 76326-27, 76329 Superior Court.

Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Special Deputy Attorney General Kimberley A. D'Arruda, for the State.

The Epstein Law Firm PLLC, by Drew Nelson, for defendant.

Arrowood, Judge.

Jonathan Eugene Haith ("defendant") appeals from judgment entered upon his conviction for attempted second-degree kidnapping. For the following reasons, we find no error.

I. Background

On 24 July 2017, defendant was indicted on one count each of attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, attempted second-degree kidnapping, assault on a female, and obtaining habitual felon status. On 7 May 2018, defendant was indicted on one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. Defendant's case came on for trial in Guilford County Superior Court before the Honorable R. Stuart Albright on 9 July 2018.

At trial, the State's evidence tended to show the following. Tosha Gibbs ("Ms. Gibbs") and defendant had known each other for several years. On the night of 28 May 2017, Ms. Gibbs invited defendant over to her friend Delena Ferrell-Marable's ("Ms. Ferrell-Marable") apartment, where Ms. Gibbs was cleaning up after a Memorial Day party while Ms. Ferrell-Marable was at work. Defendant arrived at approximately 11:30 p.m. He and Ms. Gibbs talked for a while about problems he was experiencing in his family life.

At some point, Ms. Gibbs fell asleep. When she awoke, defendant had a "dull look on his face." Defendant began behaving in an erratic manner, such as rifling through drawers and looking through bedrooms in the apartment. Defendant was overly controlling of Ms. Gibbs. For instance, he would not allow Ms. Gibbs to briefly leave the apartment to take out the trash. Additionally, he blocked the apartment's door with a couch. Defendant said, "you're not going nowhere, you're going to stay in here." Ms. Gibbs testified that she was "panicking" at this point and looking through drawers for an item with which she could protect herself "in case he did [ ] something." As Ms. Gibbs cleaned up around the apartment, defendant followed behind her at every step, grabbing a large item in his pocket. Ms. Gibbs subsequently determined based on its outline that the item was a large handgun. Ms. Gibbs testified that she was "freaking out" at this point in the evening.

Ms. Ferrell-Marable eventually returned to her apartment with friends, including Jennifer Moore-Harriston ("Ms. Moore-Harriston"). Ms. Moore-Harriston testified that Ms. Gibbs "look[ed] nervous" when they entered the apartment. Ms. Ferrell-Marable and her friends attempted to converse with defendant to lighten the mood; however, he said little, refused to sit down, and "had this real stern, hard-core look on his face." Ms. Ferrell-Marable noticed that defendant was continuously holding a large item in his pocket. Ms. Ferrell-Marable and her friends became unnerved...

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