C. J., ANDREWS and RAY, JJ.
Knowles was convicted of making a false report of a
crime and three counts of making a false
statement. She appeals the denial of her motion for
new trial, arguing that: (1) the evidence was insufficient to
support her convictions; (2) the rule of lenity should have
been applied to her convictions for making false statements;
and (3) she received ineffective assistance of counsel. For
the reasons that follow, we affirm Knowles's convictions,
but vacate her sentences for making a false statement and
remand for resentencing.
Knowles was tried along with co-defendants Kelly Marlow and
Robert Trim, both of whom were convicted of two felony counts
of making a false statement. All three defendants appealed.
We affirmed Marlow's and Trim's convictions in
Marlow v. State,  but vacated their sentences
and remanded for resentencing. The relevant facts, as set
forth in that opinion, follow:
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict,
record shows that on June 13, 2013, at approximately 11:00
p.m., a Canton police officer responded to a 911 call made by
Barbara Knowles outside the Painted Pig restaurant in Canton.
When he arrived, the officer spoke with Knowles, Marlow, and
Trim, and [Knowles] advised that "they had left a school
board meeting that was very heated, and when they crossed the
two-lane, one way street between the crosswalk and the actual
entrance of the restaurant, Cherokee County Schools
Superintendent Frank Petruzielo came speeding by in an
aggressive manner, and he came very close to them, and they
The officer took a report, but he advised the trio that he
would not pursue an investigation or charges and that they
could obtain a citizen warrant in magistrate court if they
wished to further pursue the matter.
A police supervisor subsequently reviewed the incident
report, and on June 14, 2013, he referred the matter to a
detective for investigation. The detective contacted Knowles,
Trim, and Marlow and asked them to provide written statements
via email. [On June 23, 2013, Knowles emailed her written
statement to the detective, and she went into the police
station and signed it on July 2, 2013. In the statement,
Knowles advised that as she, Marlow, and Trim were crossing
the street, "[they] turned and saw a white, BMW SUV
accelerating and changing from the right lane to the left
lane where they were crossing." According to her
statement, Knowles was in front of Marlow and Trim, and Trim
"had to push [Marlow] forward in order for them not to
be hit by the driver of the SUV. The driver never slowed
down. . . ." Knowles stated that [Petruzielo] was the
driver of the BMW, and she called 911 and reported the
incident because she "felt that [her] life had been in
. . .
On June 20, 2013, the detective obtained surveillance video
from outside the Painted Pig at 10:40 p.m. on June 13,
2013. According to the detective, the video
shows Knowles "casually" walk across the street to
the sidewalk without turning around and walk into the
restaurant. Trim then reaches the sidewalk, followed by
Marlow. The video does not show Trim pushing Marlow out of
the way in the way [Knowles] described in [her] statement.
It does depict Petruzielo driving past in his
vehicle. The detective described the surveillance
video as "inconsistent" with the accusations made
by . . . Knowles[, Marlow, and Trim].
On July 2, 2013, Knowles[, Marlow, and Trim] met with police
at the scene, and they gave recorded oral statements and
re-enacted their version of the events involving Petruzielo,
narrating as they did so. Their statements essentially repeated
their written statements, and according to the detective,
their statements and re-enactment remained inconsistent with
the video surveillance.
result of the investigation, Knowles was charged with one
count of making a false report of a crime (Count 1) and three
counts of making a false statement (Counts 2-4). The trial
court granted a directed verdict as to Count 2,
and Knowles was convicted of the remaining counts and
sentenced to 10 years to serve 60 days in custody, with the
remainder to be served on probation. The trial court denied
her subsequent motion for new trial, and this appeal
Sufficiency of the evidence.
argues that the evidence was insufficient to support her
convictions. We disagree.
On appeal from a criminal conviction, we view the evidence in
the light most favorable to the verdict and an appellant no
longer enjoys the presumption of innocence. This Court
determines whether the evidence is sufficient under the
standard of Jackson v. Virginia,  and does not
weigh the evidence or determine witness credibility. Any
conflicts or inconsistencies in the evidence are for the jury
to resolve. As long as there is some competent evidence, even
though contradicted, to support each fact necessary to make
out the State's case, we must uphold the jury's
Making a false report of a crime.
§ 16-10-26 provides: "A person who willfully and
knowingly gives or causes a false report of a crime to be
given to any law enforcement officer or agency of this state
is guilty of a misdemeanor."
argues that because she did not actually use the specific
words "reckless conduct" or "aggravated
assault" or otherwise specifically name the crime she
alleged Petruzielo committed when she first contacted police,
her statements do not constitute a false report of a crime.
This argument is without merit. The indictment did not allege
that Knowles used any specific language, and the statute does
not require it as an element of the crime.
Knowles contends that the State failed to prove beyond a
reasonable doubt that the report that she made to ...