Court debates law, grammar in ruling on weapons on campus

AP News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2015 7:16 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — This court decision invoked both law and grammar.

A North Carolina appeals court ordered a new trial Tuesday for a former High Point University student, overturning her 2013 conviction on three misdemeanors and a felony for having a pistol and three knives in a car she parked on campus the year before.

One issue: whether the word "knowingly" in a state law about possessing weapons on educational property modifies just possession or also being on educational property?

A majority, 2-1, ruled it modifies both in the case of Anna Laura Huckelba, who received a suspended sentence. It said trial jurors should have been instructed to consider whether prosecutors proved Huckelba — who parked miles from main academic buildings and claimed weapons for personal safety — was knowingly on educational property.

Her lawyer didn't immediately comment.