If you could eliminate the evidence of crime you could severely undermine the prospect of a criminal conviction. That idea may have gone through the mind of a 62-year-old North Carolina woman who lived at the same address where four persons had been taken into custody on drug charges. The Hickory police say that they had observed drug activity in open view and arrested the four. After taking them away, police say that they obtained a search warrant to search for additional evidence of drug trafficking or possession of controlled substances.
They charge that while searching the second floor of the apartment, they heard a commotion and went downstairs to find the accused woman. They're accusing her of breaking into the apartment with hedge clippers, and stealing a set of scales and a marijuana grinder that were part of the contraband found relating to the drug charges. The officers say that after finding the woman in the apartment they couldn't find the scales and the marijuana grinder, but the reports don't give any other facts indicating that the woman actually took the items.
They charged her with one count of felony altering, destroying or stealing evidence of criminal conduct. She was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond. Thus, there are no facts stated at this time that tie in the woman directly with the missing items. It could have been someone else who took the evidence of drug trafficking. The reported facts also don't say why they believe that the woman used hedge clippers to break in.
Based on available facts, it's just as possible that she walked into an apartment in her building that someone else had broken into. The mere fact of finding her there does not prove in and of itself that she did anything criminal under North Carolina criminal laws or in connection with the drug charges brought against the other individuals. Based on what we know so far, the police could be making a connection based on mere speculation. Those determinations will have to wait for additional proceedings to determine the evidence against this accused.
Source: Hickory Daily Record, "Hickory woman arrested for tampering with evidence after four others arrested," June 21, 2013