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