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State v. Carswell

Supreme Court of North Carolina
249 S.E.2d 427 (1978)


In April 1976, Donald Morgan, a security guard, was working at a motel. Upon inspection of the motel one morning, Morgan found that Room 158 had been broken into and that the air conditioner in the room had been pried from the base at the bottom of the window, though it had not been fully removed. Rather than relock the door of the room, later that night, Morgan kept watch from a nearby balcony. While stationed on the balcony, Morgan saw Rex Carswell (defendant) and another man enter Room 158. The two men removed the air conditioner from its stand in the window and placed it on the floor, moving it four to six inches toward the door. Leaving the air conditioner on the floor, Carswell and his companion exited the room. Morgan stopped the men and the police were called. The State of North Carolina (plaintiff) tried and convicted Carswell of breaking and entering, and larceny. Carswell appealed. The court of appeals reversed the larceny conviction, concluding that the limited movement of the air conditioner was an insufficient taking and asportation to establish the crime of larceny. The Supreme Court of North Carolina accepted review of the reversal.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Copeland, J.)

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