SUPERIOR COURT CONVICTIONS LEAD TO PRISON SENTENCES
NEW BERN –- District Attorney Scott Thomas announced several convictions obtained by his office in Craven County Superior Court Thursday, which included the following cases. In these matters, Superior Court Judge Ben Alford presided, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Robert McAfee.
ROBERT NIQUAN BRYANT, 18, of New Bern, pleaded guilty to First Degree Burglary, and Larceny of a Firearm, for a nighttime home break-in occurring in April, 2017. Bryant, along with three co-defendants (two of whom were juveniles at the time), broke into the townhouse residence by breaking a kitchen window. They then took a metal meat grinder and smashed the glass front of a gun safe in the living room. They took five rifles with scopes, and fled the scene. The homeowner, who was awakened by the noise, grabbed his handgun and went to investigate; he reported that if he had been downstairs two seconds earlier, he would have shot the intruders. Police responded quickly and engaged in a foot chase with the four suspects. In the course of the chase and apprehension of the suspects, the officers recovered the five rifles, some of which had already been damaged by being thrown, dropped, and pushed into mud. Judge Alford sentenced Bryant to a prison term of 51 to 74 months. He also ordered Bryant to pay restitution to the victim for the damage to his residence, property, and firearms.
ORLANDO ELLISON, 28, of New Bern, pleaded guilty to Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury, and Larceny of a Motor Vehicle. In June, 2017, Ellison had an argument with the mother of his child, and prevented her from leaving the bedroom they were in. They struggled, and in the course of the struggle, Ellison fired a 9mm handgun he had in his possession, striking the woman in the abdomen and hip. According to witnesses in the house, Ellison immediately began screaming for help and expressing remorse. He picked up the woman, and took keys to a car belonging to someone else in the house, and drove the woman to CarolinaEast Medical Center, where she was treated and sent to Vidant Medical Center. Ellison, however, fled from the emergency department at the hospital, and attempted to dispose of the firearm and the car. He was apprehended not long after, and has been in custody ever since. The victim provided the prosecution with her input, and was satisfied with the sentence that Ellison received. Judge Alford sentenced Ellison to a prison term of 25 to 42 months, and recommended Ellison for a psychological evaluation while in prison. Because Ellison was convicted of these felony offenses, he is now prohibited by law from ever possessing a firearm.
NOTE: Under North Carolina Structured Sentencing law, a convicted criminal defendant must serve all of the minimum active sentence and may be required to serve up to the maximum sentence. Upon release at the conclusion of the prison sentence, a nine to twelve month period of post-release supervision by a probation officer is required.