Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Court of Appeals Update, Sept. 3, 2013

State v. Cooper.  Appeal of murder case. -- Wake County, Bradley Graham Cooper.

Court improperly refused to let defense expert testify that supposedly incriminating data found on defendant's computer could not accurately be timestamped (time was crucial to the incriminating data) and that the data might have been planted. Any violation of the discovery rules (relating to the last minute finding of the expert) was outweighed by the defendant's constitutional right to present a defense. Further, the courts failure to hold an in-camera review of FBI computer analysis information on vague "national security grounds" violated due process.

State v. Gaston.  Appeal of murder case. -- Mecklenburg County, Marty Tarrell Gaston.

No error in refusing to give instructions on self-defense ansd voluntary manslaughter, where defendant's theory was that the gun went off by accident and no evidence was presented that defendant in fact formed a belief that it was necessary to kill to protect himself.

State v. Gilbert. Appeal of indecent liberties.  -- Forsyth County, Alvin Gilber.

Short form indictment is sufficient to charge statutory rape of a 13, 14, or 15 year old. Did not have to specifically allege the age of the victim.

State v. Verkerk.  Appeal of DWI. -- Orange County, Dorothy Hoogland Verkerk.

Strangely, in this case, a firetruck flashed it lights and pulled the defendant over. Remanded for determination if the firetruck was a state actor and, if so, did the fire truck have reasonable suspicion to make the stop.

Held that the truck did not have probably cause to make the stop as a citizens arrest under N.C. Gen. Stat. 15A-404.

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