[3) Defendant next assigns error to the trial court's denial of his motion to require the State to introduce a transcript of defendant's 25 May 1988 interview in Duplin County contemporaneously with the tapes and transcripts of the phone calls. Defendant relies upon N.C.G.S. 8C-1, Rule 106 for support. That rule provides:
8C-1, Rule 106 (1988). We find defendant's contention to be without
While we have
found no decisions of this Court which are instructive on this
point, we note that the federal rule is identical to our rule and
has been the subject of many federal decisions. This Court
frequently looks to federal decisions for guidance with regard to
the Rules of Evidence. See, e.g., State v. Smith, 315 N.C. 76, 337
S.E.2d 883 (1985).
The lessons of the federal decisions discussing Rule 106 are well settled. Rule 106 codifies the standard common law rule that when a writing or recorded statement or a part thereof is introduced by any party, an adverse party can obtain admission of the entire statement or anything so closely related that in
fairness it too
should be admitted. The trial court decides what is closely related.
United States v. Burreson, 643 F.2d 1344 (9th Cir.), cert. denied,
454 U.S. 847, 70 L.Ed.2d 135 (1981). The standard of review is
whether the trial court abused its discretion. United States v.
Abrams, 947 F.2d 1241 (5th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, U.S. , 120
L.Ed.2d 869 (1992). "The purpose of the 'completeness' rule codified
in Rule 106 is merely to ensure that a misleading impression created
by taking matters out of context is corrected on the spot, because
of 'the inadequacy of repair work when delayed to a point later in
the trial.'" United States v. LeFevour, 798 F.2d 977, 981 (7th Cir.
1986) (quoting Advisory Committee Note).
also make clear that Rule 106 does not require introduction of
additional portions of the statement or another statement that are
neither explanatory of nor relevant to the passages that have been
admitted. See, e.g., United States v. Walker, 652 F.2d 708 (7th Cir.
1981) (trial court properly admitted parts of defendant's grand jury
testimony and excluded other portions); accord United States v.
Garrett, 716 F.2d 257 (5th Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 937,
80 L. Ed. 2d 459 (1984); United States v. Crosby, 713 F.2d 1066 (5th
Date Printed: July 6, 1999
North Carolina Reports
cert. denied, 464
U.S. 1001, 78 L.Ed.2d 696 (1983).
Applying these principles to the instant case, in Sum, defendant must demonstrate that the tapes and transcripts of the two telephone calls were somehow out of context when they were introduced into evidence, and he must also demonstrate that his Duplin County interview was either explanatory of or relevant to the telephone calls. Defendant does neither. First, there is no indication that the tapes and transcripts were introduced other than as a whole. Second, defendant has not shown how the Duplin County interview was either explanatory of or relevant to the telephone calls. Defendant's 25 May interview with the Duplin County Sheriff and other investigating officers was basically exculpatory. As defendant states in his brief, the interview was a clear denial of any implication or involvement in the victim's death. The telephone conversations, however, were inculpatory. At the time of defendant's interview on 25 May, Sanchez had neither been located nor arrested. The idea of placing recorded telephone calls to defendant arose after Sanchez' arrest on the morning of 27 May. There appears to be no nexus between defendant's prior exculpatory interview and the subsequent telephone calls made to him by Sanchez. This situation clearly falls outside the parameters of Rule 106. It was defendant's
not the State's, to introduce evidence about his exculpatory
interview. see Advisory Committee Note to Rule 106 (Rule 106 "does
not in any way circumscribe the right of the adversary to develop
the matter on cross-examination or as part of his own case.") We
hold, therefore, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion
in denying defendant's motion to require the State to introduce
defendant's 25 May interview contemporaneously with the tapes and
transcripts of the telephone calls.
Date Printed: July 6, 1999
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