Miller Motte College                                         Raleigh Campus                                     PL110: Cri...
Portfolio Project                                    North Carolina v. Ted Willisoptions available to force the assailant ...
Portfolio Project                                    North Carolina v. Ted WillisPart II Based on this information and the...
Portfolio Project                                       North Carolina v. Ted Willis           As such, Michael Fernandez‟...
Portfolio Project                                   North Carolina v. Ted Willis       neighbor and Edgar‟s ex-friend, Joe...
Portfolio Project                                     North Carolina v. Ted Willis       she heard what sounded to be fire...
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Portfolio project 2.0

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Assignment based on the Michael Hernandez case. Whichever side we argued for in previous homework, now we had to argue for the other side to learn that a law firm the paralegal does not get to pick who should and should not be represented by the law firm.

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Portfolio project 2.0

  1. 1. Miller Motte College Raleigh Campus PL110: Criminal Procedure Portfolio Project North Carolina v. Ted WillisPart I1. What is the general rule for self defense?Self defense is available as an option to escape death or great bodily harm when, from thedefendant‟s perspective, it is real or apparent to him or her that there is no other alternative thanto defend himself or herself from the assailant or assailants.North Carolina v. Deck, 285 N.C.209, 203 S.E.2d 830 (1974), North Carolina v. Pearson, 288 N.C. 34, 215 S.E.2d 598 (1975).The defendant‟s belief of his or her necessity to exercise self defense must be reasonable, i.e. “besynonymous with rational, honest, equitable” belief during the assault, and this reasonableness isdetermined by a jury that examines all of the facts and circumstances during the time of theassailant‟s death.North Carolina v. Deck, North Carolina v. Pearson, Black‟s Law Dictionary1138 (5d ed.1979).2. How does the court interpret the distinction between non-deadly and deadly force?There is an obvious distinction between deadly and non deadly force and they are the inverse ofeach other, as the use or application of force that is intended to or most likely to cause death orgreat bodily harm is classified as deadly force, whereas there is neither the intention nor thelikelihood that the use of non deadly force will result in death or great bodily harm upon theassailant.North Carolina v. Deck, North Carolina v. Pearson. Also, in North Carolina there isreasonable and unreasonable use of deadly and non deadly force, and this reasonableness isdetermined by whether or not the amount of force used was excessive compared to any other 1
  2. 2. Portfolio Project North Carolina v. Ted Willisoptions available to force the assailant to discontinue the assault or prevent the assailant fromimmediately re-engaging in the assault.North Carolina v. Deck, R. Perkins, Criminal Law 993(2d ed. 1969). Deadly force is not justified against an assailant‟s use of non deadly force unlessthere is a great disparity in size, strength, or fierceness between the defendant and the assailant,or there is more than one assailant attacking the defendant.North Carolina v. Pearson, NorthCarolina v. Hill, 141 N.C. 769, 53 S.E. 311 (1906).3. How does the court distinguish when a person can “Stand their ground” and when he must retreat?Prior to determining whether the defendant can stand his ground against the assailant, adetermination must be made as to who provoked the assault, asthe provoker of the incidentcannot lawfully stand their ground against the assailant, but can match attack for attack bywhatever level of force the assailant uses against the defendant.North Carolina v. Pearson, NorthCarolina v. Deck.The defendant cannot justifiably stand his ground and kill the assailant whenthe defendant is away from his home or place of business, and there is any possible way ofescape available to the defendant; however, ifthe assailant uses deadly force against thedefendant, or the defendant is attacked by more than one assailant, or the assailant‟s size orfierceness is greater, then the defendant is justified to stand his ground and kill theassailant.North Carolina v. Pearson, North Carolina v. Gaddy, 166 N.C. 341, 81 S.E. 608(1914).When the defendant is attacked at his homeor business, or where the defendant has nomeans of escaping the assault, the defendant is considered to be “at the wall” and does not needto retreat.North Carolina v. Pearson. 2Chris Harden
  3. 3. Portfolio Project North Carolina v. Ted WillisPart II Based on this information and the information that you read in People of the NorthCarolina v. Norris and North Carolina v. Edgar Earl Mize, did Ted Willis have the right touse deadly force? The question presented is not whether Ted Willis is guilty of murder, or was perfect orimperfect self defense available to him, but did Ted Willis have the right to use deadly force. It isplainly clear that Ted Willis did have the right to use deadly force against Michael Fernandez onFebruary 1, 2012 around 6 p.m.During the assault on Ted Willis that evening, MichaelFernandez hit Ted Willis in the nose with his fist and, while on the ground, slammed his headupon the sidewalk.Ted Willis had no other option than to kill Michael Fernandez because TedWillis had no doubt that hewould die from a grave head injury or suffer lifelong complicationsfrom the assault to his head. North Carolina v. Deck. As is stated in North Carolina v. Gaddy,“death or great bodily harm is possible without the use of any weapons by the assailant or theassailants, and the defendant therefore may be justified in employing deadly force to repel suchan attack.” Michael Fernandez‟ reaction to Ted Willis‟ inquiry as to what he was doing in theneighborhood was what initiated the conflict as Michael Fernandez aggressively responded toTed Willis by poking him in the chest.North Carolina v. Pearson, North Carolina v. Hill, NorthCarolina v. Gaddy. As is noted in the City of Raleigh Community(http://www.raleighnc.gov/safety/content/Police/Articles/Crimeprevention.html)Watch Program, it “is a crime preventionprogram that enlists the active participation of citizens to reduce crime in their communities. Itinvolves neighbors getting to know each other and preventing crime by being aware of what ishappening in their neighborhoods. The goal of Community Watch is to give potential criminalsthe feeling that everyone in the community is watching their every move…” 3Chris Harden
  4. 4. Portfolio Project North Carolina v. Ted Willis As such, Michael Fernandez‟s reaction to Ted Willis‟ inquiry was unfounded, and similarto what happened to Elsie Norris in the North Carolina v. Elsie Juanita Norris, 279 S.E.2D 570(1981), where Ms. Norris approached her husband and asked him a simple request for money buther husband responded by punching her with such ferocity that Ms. Norris fled to her car,retrieved her gun, and shot and killed her husband before he could reach her and re-initiate theassault. Again, it is plainly evident that in this situation Michael Fernandez was the aggressor inthis case because, according to North Carolina v. Jenkins, _N.C. App._ S.E. 2d 101(2010), hevoluntarily entered the fight using “abusive language” calculated and intended to bring on a fightwhen he turned to Ted Willis, poked him in the chest, and yelled, “Don‟t you f@#$ing touchme!”North Carolina v. Hill, North Carolina v. Gaddy. Even if one were to entertain the absurd probability that Ted Willis provoked the conflictbetween himself and Michael Fernandez, four things are obvious: 1. Ted Willis had no intention of taking the life of Michael Fernandez or inflicting serious bodily harm upon him because when Ted Willis tried to ascertain what Michael Fernandez was doing in the neighborhood, Ted Willis did not have his weapon drawn nor did he approach Michael Fernandez in a manner to indicate that murder was on his mind. North Carolina v. Elsie Juanita Norris. 2. Though Ted Willis was armed, he had no intention of using his weapon against Michael Fernandez or anyone else, unlike Edgar Mize, in North Carolina v. Mize, 340 S.E. 2d 439 (1986), who visited a friend with his shot gun with the intent of shooting and killing their 4Chris Harden
  5. 5. Portfolio Project North Carolina v. Ted Willis neighbor and Edgar‟s ex-friend, Joe McDonald.Ted Willis had a weapon for self defense, not to specifically locate and eliminate another human being.North Carolina v. Pearson. 3. North Carolina v. Bryant213 N.C. 752, 197 S.E. 530 (1938) stated, “the person assaulted may not stand his ground and kill his adversary, if there is any way of escape open to him, although he is permitted to repel force by force and give blow for blow.” Examining the injuries to Ted Willis it is obvious to see that Michael Fernandez had a way of escape available to him when Ted Willis was down on the sidewalk, but instead of retreating or repelling the same force that Ted Willis had given him, Michael Fernandez escalated the amount of force by using the concrete side walk and his body weight as a deadly weapon.North Carolina v. Gaddy.As is stated in North Carolina v. Ellerbe, 223 N.C. 770,28 S.E. 2d 519 (1944), “There is not a particle of evidence which should cause a person, in the exercise of ordinary firmness, to apprehend that it was more dangerous to retreat than to stand his ground and repel the anticipated attack. The defendant merely pyramided his fears -- none of which were well founded.”The injuries the younger and stronger Michael Fernandez inflicted upon Ted Willis is evident that Michael Fernandez intended to use unreasonable and ferocious felonious force during the time of the attack and for that reason Ted Willis had no choice but to use deadly force to preserve his own life. North Carolina v. Pearson, North Carolina v. Deck. 4. There was a person who was not an eye witness but more of an ear witness to the fight. Julia Lewis claims that “she was in her backyard when she heard two male voices shouting near the front of her house, then heard one voice, later identified to be Michael, shouting „Don‟t shoot!‟ and then heard what sounded like firecrackers” (Fact Pattern, North Carolina v. Ted Willis). The validity of her testimony is questionable as she said 5Chris Harden
  6. 6. Portfolio Project North Carolina v. Ted Willis she heard what sounded to be firecrackers though Michael Fernandez was shot only once and Julia Lewis contends that she heard more than one “crack.” Secondly, the declaration of “Don‟t shoot!” could have come a split second prior to Ted Willis justifiably firing his gun to stop Michael Fernandez‟s felonious assault and, as stated in North Carolina v. Ellerbe, “where a person is without fault and a murderous assault is made upon him, that is, I mean with intent to kill, he is not required to retreat but he may stand his ground and if he kills his assailant and it is necessary to do so in order to save his own life or to protect himself from great bodily harm.”North Carolina v. Deck, Fact Pattern, North Carolina v. Ted Willis. In conclusion, Judge Pless stated inNorth Carolina v. Francis, 252 N.C. 57, 112 S.E.2d 756(1960), that “it is better for a man to be the loser in a fist fight than to cut or shoot somebody.”However, Justice Ervin stated in North Carolina v. Anderson, 230N.C. 54, 51 S.E. 2d 895(1949), that “the law does not compel any man to submit in meekness to indignities or violenceto his person merely because such indignities or violence stop short of threatening him withdeath or great bodily harm.” In Ted Willis‟ case, the “indignities or violence” he suffered didnot stop short of great bodily harm, as the injuriesinflicted upon his persongave Ted Willis theright to use deadly force against Michael Fernandez on February 1, 2012.North Carolina v.Pearson. 6Chris Harden

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