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Date: 01-10-2018

Case Style:

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA v. JONATHAN KEITH MALLOY

Fatal hit and run suspect arrested

Case Number: COA17-408

Judge: Wanda Bryant

Court: COURT OF APPEALS OF NORTH CAROLINA

Plaintiff's Attorney: Assistant Attorney General John P. Barkley

Defendant's Attorney: Meghan Adelle Jones

Description: Where the essential elements of hit and run resulting in death necessarily
include the essential elements of hit and run resulting in injury, the trial court did
not err by submitting to the jury and entering judgment upon conviction for felonious
hit and run resulting in injury.
On 1 January 2010, defendant Jonathan Keith Malloy called his girlfriend,
Sandra Hoover, to let her know that his friends were “hanging out” at their shared
home on Lakecrest Drive. When Hoover arrived home around 4:00 p.m., she found
defendant and his friends “sitting on the couch and having a good time . . . drinking
STATE V. MALLOY

Opinion of the Court

- 2 -
and smoking.” Defendant went to Hoover and asked her to take his friends home
around 6:00 p.m., but Hoover refused, even though she could smell the alcohol on
defendant’s breath and his eyes were red and glassy, “like he had been drinking.”
Defendant then took the keys to Hoover’s gray 1990 Volvo and got in the driver’s seat.
Hoover also got in the car with defendant and his friends.
Defendant was driving and turned onto North Tryon Street. Hoover, who was
sitting in the back seat, heard “like a bump, like a thump,” and Hoover said “John,
you hit somebody.” Defendant replied, “no, I didn’t,” and Hoover responded, “yes, you
did.”
Defendant did not stop immediately but continued driving until he reached a
gas station a few minutes later. There, they discovered the windshield had been
cracked and the right headlight was out. Defendant drove to another gas station,
where Hoover told defendant’s friends to get out of the car. She and defendant drove
back to their home, got into a different car with Hoover driving, and went to “see what
happened.”
They were unable to return to the precise location where they heard the bump,
because there were police officers and police cars blocking the street. As a result,
Hoover stopped at a gas station and defendant went inside to find out what had
STATE V. MALLOY

Opinion of the Court

- 3 -
happened. When he returned, he told Hoover that “somebody had got hit, someone
was dead out there.” Police had found a deceased person on Tryon Street.1
Hoover and defendant went home around 8:00 p.m., and Hoover told defendant
that if she saw “it” on the 11:00 news, she would call the police. Defendant told her
not to call “ ‘cause he could fix the car.” Defendant then took a nap before being picked
up to go to work at 10:30 that evening. After seeing coverage of “it” on the news at
11:00, Hoover called police.
During the early morning hours of 2 January 2010, Officer Jonathan Wally
with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department responded to Hoover’s 911 call.
He met Hoover, and Hoover told him she had seen her car on television, which had
been identified as being involved in a hit and run on Tryon Street. Hoover told the
officer that defendant had been driving down North Tryon Street when she “felt,
heard a bump.” She then took him outside to show him the Volvo. Officer Wally
seized the Volvo, and it was taken to a crime scene vehicle bay. Hoover and defendant
both gave statements to police that day.
On 12 April 2010, defendant was indicted for felonious hit and run resulting in
death and for driving while license revoked (“DWLR”). Defendant pled guilty to the
charge of DWLR on 10 October 2016 and stipulated that he had been driving at the
time of the offense. The case was tried on the remaining charges at the 10 October
1 A pathologist with the Mecklenburg County medical examiner’s office testified that the deceased’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of death was almost four times the legal limit.
STATE V. MALLOY

Opinion of the Court

- 4 -
2016 Session of Superior Court for Mecklenburg County, the Honorable Linwood O.
Foust, Judge presiding.
At trial, the State requested that the jury be instructed on the offense of
felonious hit and run resulting in injury. Defendant objected to this instruction, but
the trial court overruled defendant’s objection. Defendant also objected to including
the lesser-included offense on the verdict sheet, but the trial court again overruled
defendant’s objection.
The jury found defendant guilty of the lesser-included offense of felonious hit
and run resulting in injury. Defendant moved for a directed verdict of not guilty,
renewing his objection to the instruction on felonious hit and run resulting in injury.
Defendant argued that felonious hit and run resulting in injury is not a lesser
included offense of hit and run resulting in death. The trial court denied the motion,
and thereafter entered judgment and imposed a sentence of eleven to fourteen months
imprisonment for hit and run resulting in injury. The trial court also sentenced
defendant to a consecutive sentence of 120 days on the DWLR charge. Defendant
appeals.
_________________________________________________________
On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred by instructing the jury on
and entering judgment upon conviction for felonious hit and run resulting in injury,
an offense for which defendant was not indicted. Specifically, defendant contends
STATE V. MALLOY

Opinion of the Court

- 5 -
that felonious hit and run resulting in injury is not necessarily a lesser-included
offense of hit and run resulting in death. We disagree.
The elements of felonious hit and run resulting in death are (1) the defendant
was driving a vehicle, (2) that vehicle was involved in a crash, (3) that a person died
as a result of the crash, (4) that the defendant knew, or reasonably should have
known, that the defendant was involved in a crash and that a person had died as a
result of the crash, (5) that the defendant did not stop the vehicle immediately at the
scene of the crash, and (6) that the defendant’s failure to stop was willful; that is,
intentional and without justification or excuse. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-166(a) (2015).
The elements of felonious hit and run resulting in injury are (1) the defendant
was driving a vehicle, (2) the vehicle was involved in a crash, (3) that a person suffered
injury as a result of the crash, (4) that the defendant knew, or reasonably should have
known, that the defendant was involved in a crash and that a person had suffered
injury as a result of the crash, (5) that the defendant did not stop the vehicle
immediately at the scene of the crash, and (6) that the defendant’s failure to stop was
willful; that is, intentional and without justification or excuse. Id. § 20-166(a1).
The only differences between these two offenses are those italicized above and
that the greater offense is a Class F felony, while the lesser offense is a Class H felony.
Compare id. § 20-166(a), with id. § 20-166(a1). Otherwise, the elements of the two
offenses are exactly the same. See id. § 20-166(a), (a1).
STATE V. MALLOY

Opinion of the Court

- 6 -
Defendant essentially argues that “[d]eath does not necessarily include
injury[,]” and that because our courts have recognized the concept of “instantaneous
death,” see State v. Hudson, 345 N.C. 729, 731, 483 S.E.2d 436, 437 (1997) (involving
a boat collision which “instantly killed” three people); State v. McDonald, 151 N.C.
App. 236, 238, 565 S.E.2d 273, 274 (2002) (involving a motor vehicle collision where
a driver was “instantly killed”), a felonious hit and run could result in death, but not
necessarily in injury.
While the cases cited by defendant, Hudson and McDonald, found that death
may be and, in those cases was, instantaneous, neither case stands for the proposition
that “injury” is not an element or precursor to death. Indeed, even Black’s Law
Dictionary includes the word “injury” in its definition of “instantaneous death” as
“[d]eath occurring in an instant or within an extremely short time after an injury or
seizure.” Black’s Law Dictionary, “instantaneous death” (10th ed. 2014). Per this
definition, death occurs after “injury,” and “injury” is a component of death.
In the instant case, the language used by the medical examiner regarding the
cause of death belies the entire premise of defendant’s argument on appeal. The
medical examiner stated the victim’s cause of death was “blunt trauma head injury
due to pedestrian struck by motor vehicle.” (Emphasis added). The victim was
injured as a result of the crash, and his injury resulted in death. Therefore, the
STATE V. MALLOY

Opinion of the Court

- 7 -
essential elements of hit and run resulting in death necessarily include the essential
elements of hit and run resulting in injury.2

Outcome: Accordingly, the trial court did not err by submitting to the jury and entering
judgment upon conviction for felonious hit and run resulting in injury.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:

Comments:



 
 
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