A Nebo man convicted in 2017 on numerous assault offenses was denied an appeal by the NC Court of Appeals.
In Oct. 2017, 40-year-old Curtis O’Neil Logan of Nebo pleaded guilty pursuant to Alford decision to assault on a female, assault inflicting serious injury constituting habitual misdemeanor assault, and attaining habitual felon status per a plea agreement with the state.
The Alford plea, according to United States law, is a guilty plea in which the defendant in a criminal case does not admit to the criminal act and maintains innocence, but admits that evidence presented by prosecution is sufficient enough to convict.
Among the incidents surrounding the charges, according to court documents, include a Jan. 2017 allegation that Logan had slammed a door on a female acquaintance’s arm, causing glass to break and resulting in a laceration, as well as an Oct. 2016 altercation in which Logan reportedly punched acquaintance Lee Harp of Marion in the face three times, breaking his jaw. All charges were consolidated into one Class D felony.
As a result, Logan was sentenced to 60-84 months (or five to seven years) in prison with 34 days of pretrial credit in McDowell County Superior Court. An appeal was subsequently filed on behalf of the defendant.
According to an NC Court of Appeal’s decision, Logan attempted to appeal his conviction and sentence under three conditions: 1) that there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions on the habitual felon and habitual misdemeanor assault charges; 2) that the trial court erred in calculating his prior record level at sentencing; and 3) through a motion for appropriate relief, asserting arguments related to the principal arguments he asserted on the appeal.
In their decision, the court asserted that the state gave a summary of the facts supporting the charges, including a description of the prior convictions supporting the two habitual charges. The state did not present the prior conviction records and Logan did not request that they be introduced into evidence.
According to NC Department of Public Safety records, Logan was previously convicted in Rutherford County in Jan. 2009 on charges of assault inflicting serious bodily injury, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession with intent to sell a schedule II controlled substance, assault on a female and assault by strangulation.
However, as Logan had entered a guilty plea under his McDowell charges in 2017, it was determined that he had precluded the court from addressing his arguments.
“Ordinarily, a defendant who pleads guilty has the right to appeal,” according to the Court’s decision, “’the issue of whether the sentenced imposed . . . [r]esults from an incorrect finding of the defendant’s prior record level.’ N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1444(a2)(1). But this Court has held that when a defendant agrees to a specific sentence under a plea agreement, and is sentenced in accordance with that agreement, it ‘moot[s] any issues that could have been raised on appeal as to [the] sentence.’”
In regards to the defendant’s motion for appropriate relief, the court claimed that because they had dismissed Logan’s appeal “on all issues asserted on direct appeal and deny his petition for a writ of certiorari,” it lacked jurisdiction to consider his motion for appropriate relief and dismissed the motion.
“For the reasons discussed above,” according to the court’s decision, “we allow the State’s motion to dismiss the appeal, deny Logan’s petition for a writ of certiorari, and dismiss the accompanying motion for appropriate relief for lack of appellate jurisdiction.”