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State v. Sidden, ____ N.C. ____ (10-3-1997)


 

North Carolina Reports
STATE v. SIDDEN, N.C. (10-3-1997)
491 S.E.2d 225
 

The defendant next contends that the trial court committed plain error in allowing the testimony of two State's witnesses. The first witness was SBI Agent Steve Cabe. He testified to contents of prior statements made by Sabon Johnson to him. He then testified that Johnson's testimony at trial had been basically "the same statements as he made initially both to law enforcement and in the first trial [the defendant's trial for the murder of Garry Sidden, Sr.]."
 

The defendant acknowledges that a witness' prior consistent statements are admissible for the purpose of corroboration. However, he contends that the trial court erred in allowing Agent Cabe to state his opinion that Johnson's testimony was the same as he had made to the officers. The defendant relies on State v. Norman, 76 N.C. App. 623, 334 S.E.2d 247, disc. rev. denied, 315 N.C. 188, 337 S.E.2d 863 (1985), in support of his argument.
 

In Norman, the Court of Appeals held that testimony of an officer that a Witness' testimony was substantially the same as his prior statements was error. Td. at 627, 334 S.E.2d at 250. However, in that case, the court of Appeals noted that the officer had not testified as to the contents of the previous statement. Id. The present case is distinguishable since the officer in this case did testify as to the contents of the previous statement. The jury was able to draw its own conclusion as to whether the statements were the same. Furthermore, the trial court instructed the jury as to the limited use of this testimony. State v. Jones, 317 N.C. 487, 496-97, 346 S.E.2d 657, 662 (1986).
 

Date Printed: July 6, 1999


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Published August 15, 2006.  Report broken links or other problems.

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