Armed Robbery of a Motel In North Carolina

In State v. Ripley, 360 N.C. 333, 626 S.E.2d 289 (2006), a group of robbers entered the lobby of a motel and robbed the front desk clerk at gunpoint. Motel patrons entered the lobby during the robbery. Some of the patrons were ordered at gunpoint, in the course of the robbery, to move from one side of a motel lobby door to the other side of the door. The Supreme Court, relying on the decision of State v. Irwin, 304 N.C. 93, 282 S.E.2d 439 (1981), held this to be a "mere technical asportation" that was an inherent part of the armed robbery. Ripley, 360 N.C. at 338, 626 S.E.2d at 293-94. The analysis in Ripley is based upon the seminal case of State v. Fulcher, 294 N.C. 503, 243 S.E.2d 338 (1978). the key holding in that case was as follows: It is self-evident that certain felonies (e.g., forcible rape and armed robbery) cannot be committed without some restraint of the victim. We are of the opinion, and so hold, that G.S. 14-39 was not intended by the Legislature to make a restraint, which is an inherent, inevitable feature of such other felony, also kidnapping so as to permit the conviction and punishment of the defendant for both crimes. to hold otherwise would violate the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. Pursuant to the above mentioned principle of statutory construction, we construe the word "restrain," as used in G.S. 14-39, to connote a restraint separate and apart from that which is inherent in the commission of the other felony. Id. at 523, 243 S.E.2d at 351.