State v. McAllisterAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction, holding that the rationale underlying State v. Harbison, 337 S.E.2d 504 (N.C. 1985) applies equally when defense counsel impliedly - rather than expressly - admits the defendant's guilt to a charged offense.
After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of assault on a female. The trial court entered judgment on one count of habitual misdemeanor assault and sentenced Defendant to a term of fifteen to twenty-seven months' imprisonment. Defendant appealed, arguing that his defense counsel improperly conceded his guilt to the assault on a female charge during closing arguments. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that Defendant was not denied his right to effective assistance of counsel. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that defense counsel impliedly conceded Defendant's guilty on the offense of assault on a female. The Court remanded the case for a hearing for the purpose of determining whether Defendant knowingly consented in advance to his attorney's admission of guilt.