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North Carolina v. Jordan

Filed: March 3, 1982.

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v.
ARDELL RICHARD JORDAN



On appeal from judgments imposed by Strickland, Judge, at the 30 March 1981 Criminal Session of Superior Court, New Hanover County.

Carlton, Justice

Carlton

I

On 29 December 1980 at about 4:30 a.m. Robin Wellington was awakened in her bedroom by a man, whom she identified as defendant, who was holding a razor to her throat. He told her not to move. Defendant was also armed with a gun. He forced Wellington to perform fellatio on him. After the oral sex act had been completed, defendant put a nylon stocking over his head and forced Wellington out of bed and into the living room, where Angela Moore was sleeping. Defendant woke Moore up and told her that he would blow her away if she resisted. The two women were forced to remove their clothing, and defendant touched their breasts and genital areas.

Defendant told Wellington that he had entered the house by placing an oil drum under the bathroom window, breaking the window and cutting the venetian blinds. He told them not to report the incident. After defendant left, Wellington discovered that the bathroom window had been broken and the blinds torn.

When Wellington had gone to bed that night the window and blinds were undamaged.

Wellington reported the incident to the police two days later. She identified her assailant by name and gave a detailed description of him. Although Wellington positively identified defendant as the man who had broken into her home and assaulted her, Moore was unable to make a positive identification.

Defendant presented three character witnesses who testified to his good character.

At the close of the evidence the case was submitted to the jury, which returned the verdicts set out above.

II

Defendant first assigns error to the identification of a letter received by Wellington nearly a year prior to the offenses charged. During direct examination Wellington identified a document marked as State's Exhibit Number 1 as a letter she had received in January of 1980. She testified that at the time she received it she did not know who had written it. Later in the State's case, the trial judge ruled that the letter was inadmissible, and the letter was never shown nor were its contents related to the jury.

Defendant argues that the trial judge's failure to suppress the earlier references to the letter at the time he ruled that the letter itself was inadmissible constitutes reversible error. We disagree for two reasons. First, defendant failed to preserve his objection by moving to strike the earlier testimony at the time the letter was ruled inadmissible and, second, defendant ...


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