A unanimous three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled this morning in a Gaston County case that a trial judge did not have the authority to revoke probation and impose an active prison sentence on a drug offender who failed to meet conditions of her probation. Appellate judges agreed with defendant Corey Leighann Nolen that the state Justice Reinvestment Act of 2011 blocked the judge from revoking probation.

In other opinions released this morning:

  • A unanimous three-judge panel rejected a Pasquotank County inmate’s attempt to have his first-degree murder conviction thrown out. Part of the defendant’s argument was that the trial judge improperly blocked evidence that the murder victim was a gang member.
  • A unanimous three-judge panel affirmed a lower-court ruling favoring Cumberland County Health System in a dispute with a former employee who challenged her dismissal.