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North Carolina v. Hunt

Filed: November 6, 1979.

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
JAMES FRANKLIN HUNT



Appeal by defendant from Crissman, Judge. Judgment entered 11 September 1978 in Superior Court, Guilford County. Heard in the Court of Appeals 29 August 1979.

Erwin, Judge. Judges Clark and Wells concur.

Erwin

The record reveals that the following occurred on redirect examination at the time Dr. Hudson was being questioned by Assistant District Attorney Greeson for the State:

"Q. Well, assuming then, Dr. Hudson, that the jury found as a fact that on October the 6th, 1977, Ralph Dilldine was hit with a stick -- approximately twenty-four inches, I believe, is the width as he stated -- to the left side of the neck and face area, do you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself as to what type of weapon was used?

A. If I understand your question, it is what sort of weapon could have hit him on the left side of the head?

Q. Yeah. Assume the jury found as a fact that he was struck, let's just say, without the stick -- just assuming that he was struck to the left side of his face on October the 6th, 1977, with a force sufficient enough to knock him down, do

you have an opinion as to what type of weapon that would be -- and I mean and not leave any marks.

Mr. Kastner: Well, objection, your Honor.

A. Yes, in general terms.

Court: Go ahead. Overruled.

A. It would have to be something very big and very soft like a sack of feathers."

Defendant assigns error contending the witness, Dr. Hudson, expressed an improper opinion prejudicial to defendant.

On recross-examination pursuant to questions asked by Mr. Kastner, Dr. Hudson testified without objections as follows:

"The only kind of instrument that I know of that could have struck the left side of the head or neck and could have knocked him down and it left no mark would have been a large, fairly soft instrument. I am assuming that the blow was delivered by this instrument to a person who was completely stable and that the force of the blow provided all of the impetus for him falling. I am responding to the question as asked me. My response to the question was of a man who was more or less -- not anchored -- but steady on his feet and was driven off his feet by the force of some blow. A man who was intoxicated and might have been off balance because that sort of person could have fallen without any blow. None of us took a hair sample from Ralph Dilldine's body in ...


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