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North Carolina v. Wilson

Filed: January 12, 1982.

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
KEITH DOUGLAS WILSON



Appeal by defendant from Burroughs, J., at the 12 January 1981 Criminal Session of Gaston Superior Court.

Britt, Justice.

Britt

Defendant has grouped his assignments of error into four questions in which he contends that the trial court committed prejudicial error in excluding certain evidence proffered by him, and in its instructions to the jury. We find no merit in any of the assignments and leave undisturbed the judgment entered.

{PA}

Page 692} I

Defendant argues that a crucial issue in this case is whether he had a reasonable belief that he was in danger of death or great bodily harm at the hands of Reid. He refers to his testimony that after slapping Reid and seeing him turn and make a gesture towards the inside of Byrd's car, he believed Reid was attempting to reach into the car for the purpose of getting a gun. To support his position that he shot Reid in self-defense, he offered certain testimony by himself, Anthony Burch, Derrick Alexander and Casey Grier which was excluded by the court.

Anthony Burch, an eyewitness to the homicide, was presented as a witness by the state. On cross-examination he stated that he did not know anything about Byrd carrying a gun in his car. The witness was then asked: "Had you heard he carried a gun in his car?" The state objected and the objection was sustained. The record fails to show what the witness' answer would have been had he been allowed to answer the question. That being true the exclusion of such testimony is not shown to be prejudicial. State v. Davis, 282 N.C. 107, 191 S.E.2d 664 (1972).

On direct examination defendant was asked why he carried his gun with him when he returned to the Rollins School lot. He answered, "Well, because I had heard that Bradford (Byrd) --". At this point the state objected and the objection was sustained. For the reason given above with respect to Burch's testimony, we hold that defendant has failed to show prejudicial error.

Derrick Alexander was presented as a witness by defendant. In giving his version of the second encounter between Reid and defendant, the witness stated that Byrd came over to the place where defendant was; that "I didn't know whether he was going to hit Spunky (defendant) or not so I was just watching his back for him"; that Alexander said "just let them fight it out"; and that Byrd said "he was going to get his stuff". The witness was then asked "what did you understand (Byrd) to mean when he said he was going to get his stuff?". The court sustained the state's objection to the question.

Here again the record fails to show what the witness' answer would have been had he been allowed to answer the question. That being true, defendant has failed to show prejudice. State v. Davis, supra.

Casey Grier, another eyewitness to the homicide, was presented as a witness by defendant. In giving his version of what happened immediately prior to the shooting, he testified that when defendant hit Reid, Reid was standing at the open, front door on the left side of Byrd's car; and that Reid then ...


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