Tuesday, January 21, 2014

NC COA Update, Jan. 21, 2014

State v. Carlton. District Court erred in amending citation to charge defendant with a different charge. Can amend, but not to charge a new crime.

State v. McGrady. No error in refusing, under 702, to allow defendant to put on "use of force" expert.

State v. McLean.  No error in refusing to allow pre-trial testing for DNA (or absence of DNA) on shell casings. Court found that such absence would not be relevant to defendant's alibi defense and the purpose of the statute is to test for the presence of DNA, not the absence of DNA.

State v. Stepp. (Joshua Stepp, Wake County). New trial ordered in murder case. In felony murder (sex assault) case, defendant requested an instruction of defense for digital penetration "for medical purposes", as his testimony was that the act was done for cleaning. Court erred in refusing to give the instruction.

State v. Smathers. While no probable cause for a stop, no error in officer stopping under the "community caretaker" doctrine to check on a woman who had hit a deer. (Turns out, she was drunk...)

State v. Williams. In sexual exploitation of a minor case, sufficient evidence where Defendant set up a web-cam to watch the victim "dance in her pajamas." No error in closing courtroom during display of graphic images. Downloading of image qualifies as "duplication" for second degree exploitation (N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-190.17).

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