Heard in the Court of Appeals 8 October 2014.
This Decision is not final until expiration of the twenty-one day rehearing period. [North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure 32(b)]
Appeal by defendant from judgments entered 16
September 2011 by Judge Charles H. Henry in New Hanover County Superior Court.
New Hanover County. Nos. 10 CRS 61706, 62183.
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Associate Attorney General Melody Hairston, for the State.
Appellate Defender Staples Hughes, by Assistant Appellate Defender Nicholas C. Woomer-Deters, for Defendant.
ERVIN, Judge. Judges ELMORE concurs. Judge BRYANT dissents in separate opinion.
Defendant Bo Anderson Taylor appeals from judgments entered based upon his convictions for misdemeanor larceny, felonious breaking or entering a trailer, and five counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. On appeal, Defendant contends that the trial court erred by allowing the admission of evidence affirming the truthfulness of the alleged victim and by allowing the State to elicit extensive testimony that Defendant had exercised his right to remain silent as part of its case in chief. After careful consideration of Defendant's challenges to the trial court's judgments in light of the record and the applicable law, we conclude that Defendant is entitled to a new trial.
I. Factual Background
A. Substantive Facts
1. State's Evidence
In October 2010, Defendant and his girlfriend, Gail Lacroix, were living with Defendant's sister, Crystal Medina. In view of the fact that Ms. Lacroix was Defendant and Ms. Medina's step-mother, no one in the family was happy about the relationship between Defendant and Ms. Lacroix.
Because she did not have any room in her house to accommodate Defendant and Ms. Lacroix, Ms. Medina allowed them to stay in a shop located in her backyard. At the time that Defendant and Ms. Lacroix moved in, the Medinas were planning to separate and Ms. Medina's husband was in jail.
The Medinas had formerly owned and operated a residential and commercial concrete business and had purchased several tools for use in the business, including two lasers that had been purchased for $1,495 each. The tools in question were stored in locked trailers located in Ms. Medina's backyard. Defendant had access to the keys to these trailers. As part of the divorce settlement, Ms. Medina planned to let her husband keep the tools while she would keep the house. In view of the fact that she " didn't trust [her husband's] family," Ms. Medina had photographed all of the tools and recorded their serial numbers.
On 2 October 2010, Defendant pawned a hammer drill at Picasso Pawn for $50. On 4 October 2010, Defendant pawned two generators at Pawn USA for $300. Defendant returned to Picasso Pawn on 13 October 2010 and pawned an air compressor for $35. On 6 November 2010, Defendant pawned two lasers at National Pawn for $200. On each of these ...