IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA
FILED: 6 FEBRUARY 1998
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
ROBERT EARL CHANCE
On writ of certiorari from a judgment entered by
Griffin, J., on 25 April 1995 in Superior Court, Martin County,
sentencing the defendant to life imprisonment for first-degree
Calendared for argument in the Supreme Court 9 September
1997; determined on the briefs without oral argument.
Michael F. Easley, Attorney General, by Teresa L.
Harris, Associate Attorney General, for the State.
Regina A. Moore for defendant-appellant.
Robert Earl Chance, defendant, pro se.
The defendant appeals from a sentence of life in prison
imposed after he was convicted of first-degree murder in a case
in which the State did not seek the death penalty.
favorable to the State showed that the defendant shot his wife to
death with a 12-gauge shotgun in the presence of two witnesses.
The defendant’s attorney has filed a brief in which she
says she “has diligently researched the issues and cannot, in
good faith, argue any grouping of exceptions or assignments of
She has also sent the record and transcript of the trial
to the defendant and advised him that she has assigned as error
-2that there was insufficient evidence to convict the defendant of
She has advised the defendant further that
he may file a brief with this Court making whatever arguments he
desires to make.
The defendant has filed what he denominates a
motion for appropriate relief, which we shall treat as a brief.
We hold that defendant’s counsel has complied with
Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 18 L. Ed. 2d 493 (1967).
stated in her brief that she could not in good faith argue any
assignments of error.
“This is tantamount to a conclusion that
the appeal is wholly frivolous.”
State v. Kinch, 314 N.C. 99,
102, 331 S.E.2d 665, 666 (1985).
She also advised the defendant
that he may file a brief raising any points he desires to raise.
This is what is required by Anders, 386 U.S. at 744, 18 L. Ed. 2d
We agree with the conclusion of the defendant’s
attorney that it is frivolous to argue that there was not
sufficient evidence to support a conviction of first-degree
There was evidence that the defendant entered the home
of his mother-in-law carrying a 12-gauge shotgun and shot his
wife to death in front of two witnesses without any threat from
his wife to him.
This evidence supports a conviction of
State v. Hamby, 276 N.C. 674, 174 S.E.2d
385 (1970), death sentence vacated, 408 U.S. 937, 33 L. Ed. 2d
The defendant argues in his pro se brief that he had
ineffective assistance of counsel.
He bases this on what he says
was his counsel’s failure to properly perfect his appeal and
As to the perfection of the appeal, the
defendant’s counsel gave notice of appeal and petitioned for a
writ of certiorari, which was allowed.
required in perfecting an appeal.
No more than this is
As to what the defendant calls
“improper preparation,” he does not say what was not proper about
his attorney’s preparation.
In accordance with our duty under Anders, we have
examined the record and the transcript of the trial.
examination, we find the appeal to be wholly frivolous.