State v. Battle, 198 N.C. 379 (1930)

Feb. 19, 1930 · Supreme Court of North Carolina
198 N.C. 379


(Filed 19 February, 1930.)

Criminal Law G m — Conviction may not be had on evidence which raises only conjecture or suspicion of guilt.

A conviction of larceny may not be had upon evidence which creates only a conjecture or suspicion that the defendant had committed the offense.

Appeal by defendant from Moore, Special Judge, at September Term, 1929, of Edgecombe.


Tbe defendant was charged (1) with breaking and entering a dwelling-house of Sam Evans and stealing money from a meter box in the possession of Sam Evans, the property of the city of Rocky Mount; (2) with receiving same, knowing the property to have been stolen. When the breaking and entering took place, the evidence would indicate it was about 12:30 in the day time, some time in February, 1929. The amount alleged to have been stolen was about $2.75, and was taken from a meter box on the back porch of Sam Evans’ house. s

The defendant introduced no evidence, but in the testimony of witnesses for the State he denied the charge. There was ui verdict of guilty. The defendant, at the close of the State’s evidence, moved for judgment as in case of nonsuit, C. S., 4643, and also prayed that the court instruct the jury to return a verdict of not guilty. Defendant’s motion and prayer were refused. The defendant excepted, assigned error and ap-' pealed to the Supreme Court.

Attorney-General Brummiti and Assistant Attorney-General Nash for the State.

T. T. Thorne for defendant.

Per Cubiam.

The defendant was charged with (1) breaking and entering a dwelling-house and stealing from a meter, box about $2.75; (2) for receiving same knowing the money to have been stolen.

We think there is merely a suspicion or conjecture in regard to the charges in the bill of indictment against defendant, but no sufficient evidence to be submitted to the jury. The judgment below is ’