NC G.S. 14-415.1(C) Interpretation

In State v. Lewis, 162 N.C. App. 277, 590 S.E.2d 318 (2004), the Court held that the State could amend a habitual felon indictment pursuant to N.C.G.S. 14-7.3 which "correctly stated the type of offense for which defendant was convicted and the date of that offense," but "incorrectly stated the date and county of defendant's conviction." Lewis, 162 N.C. App. at 284-85, 590 S.E.2d at 324. N.C.G.S 14-7.3 includes language almost identical to that in N.C.G.S 14-415.1(c) regarding the "identity of the court," providing: An indictment which charges a person with being a habitual felon must set forth the date that prior felony offenses were committed, the name of the state or other sovereign against whom said felony offenses were committed, the dates that pleas of guilty were entered to or convictions returned in said felony offenses, and the identity of the court wherein said pleas or convictions took place. N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-7.3 (2007). Again, N.C.G.S 14-415.1(c) provides, in part, that the indictment charging the offense of possession of a firearm by a felon "must set forth . . . the identity of the court in which the conviction or plea of guilty took place." N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-415.1(c). In Lewis, this Court concluded that "the indictment at issue sufficiently notified defendant of the particular conviction that was being used to support his status as a habitual felon," in spite of errors in both the date and county of defendant's prior conviction. See Lewis, 162 N.C. App. at 285, 590 S.E.2d at 324. Defendant in Lewis "previously stipulated to his prior conviction and did not argue he lacked notice of the hearing at trial".