State v. Sanders, 051920 NCCA, COA19-268

Docket Nº:COA19-268
Opinion Judge:DILLON, JUDGE.
Party Name:STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA v. JOHNNY SANDERS, Defendant.
Attorney:Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Peter A. Regulski, for the State. Glover & Petersen, P.A., by James R. Glover, for Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Judges ZACHARY and HAMPSON concur.
Case Date:May 19, 2020
Court:Court of Appeals of North Carolina
 
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STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

v.

JOHNNY SANDERS, Defendant.

No. COA19-268

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

May 19, 2020

An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority.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 4 March 2020.

Appeal by Defendant from judgments entered 24 January 2018 by Judge Charles H. Henry in Lenoir County Superior Court, No. 15CRS051795

Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Peter A. Regulski, for the State.

Glover & Petersen, P.A., by James R. Glover, for Defendant-Appellant.

DILLON, JUDGE.

Defendant Johnny Sanders appeals from the trial court's judgments entered upon his convictions for first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. We conclude Defendant received a fair trial free from error.

I. Background

On 19 July 2015, Jack Davis, Jr., was robbed and murdered in Kinston. He was found alive by his girlfriend on the floor of his home in a pool of blood. A .22 rifle and large flashlight were found lying next to the victim. Medical personnel arrived and determined that the victim was still breathing. The victim was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries. The medical examiner determined that the victim died from blunt force head trauma.

Evidence was discovered tending to show that the victim's death resulted from an alleged conspiracy by Defendant and five other individuals to rob the victim.

In February 2017, Defendant was indicted for first-degree murder, armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Ten months later, in December 2017, Phoenix Hannibal, one of the Defendant's co-conspirators who had also been indicted, wrote a statement describing the plan to rob the victim, which resulted in the victim's death. The statement implicated Defendant and the other co-conspirators: Dear [Assistant District Attorney:] 12/29/17

I swear this to be the complete truth. I was not completely truthful in my previous statements! Reason being I was scared and I have children aged 2, 5 & 6. But what I am telling you now is the truth! . . .

I first started thinking of robbing [the victim] shortly after I met him. I spoke about this to...

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