in the Court of Appeals 6 September 2017.
by defendant from judgment entered 25 March 2016 by Judge
Milton F. Fitch, Jr. in Gates County Superior Court. No. 10
Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Special Deputy Attorney
General Amar Majmundar, for the State.
Appellate Defender Glenn Gerding, by Assistant Appellate
Defender Daniel L. Spiegel, for defendant-appellant.
Lee Goodman (defendant) appeals from a judgment entered after
a jury convicted him of assault with a deadly weapon with
intent to kill and inflicting serious bodily injury. His sole
contention on appeal is that the trial court erred by
allegedly failing to exercise its discretion when it
responded "no" to a juror's inquiry at the
start of the third day of trial about whether jurors may
question trial witnesses. Because defendant failed to object
at trial, he failed to preserve for our review any issue
arising from the trial court's denial of the juror's
request. Recognizing this, defendant alternatively requests
that we invoke our discretionary authority under Appellate
Rule 2 to suspend the issue-preservation requirements of
Appellate Rule 10 and conduct a merits-review of his
argument. Because defendant has failed to demonstrate his
alleged error warrants the extraordinary measure of
suspending our Appellate Rules, and because we conclude it
would be inappropriate to invoke Appellate Rule 2 in this
particular case, in our discretion we decline defendant's
request. Accordingly, we dismiss his unpreserved alleged
error and appeal.
the evening of 30 January 2009, Blane Riddick, a morbidly
obese paraplegic, was shot twelve times in his bedroom while
he was bedridden in his family's home in Gates, North
Carolina. About twenty years earlier, Riddick was shot in the
back while living in New York City, rendering him a
paraplegic. He moved back into his parents' house in
North Carolina a few years later. As a result of his New York
gunshot wound, Riddick required substantial medical care and
assistance. Rhonda Hurdle, an ex-girlfriend to both Riddick
and defendant, served as Riddick's nurse and regularly
attended to his medical needs for payment.
State's evidence tended to show that, on the evening of
the shooting, defendant dropped Hurdle off at Riddick's
house to attend to his medical needs. Once Hurdle finished
changing Riddick's bandages and bedding about an hour or
two later, Riddick asked his brother and neighbor, Ben
Riddick, to drive Hurdle home. As soon as Ben dropped off
Hurdle, she called Riddick. While Hurdle was speaking on the
phone with Riddick, she heard three gun shots, immediately
hung up, and called 911.
State's evidence also tended to show that Riddick's
neighborhood friend, Patricia Howell, believed she saw
defendant running from Riddick's home around the time of
the shooting; that defendant's vehicle was found
abandoned in a field near Riddick's house; that on two
separate occasions, defendant confessed to two of his
ex-girlfriends, Hurdle and April Pierce, that he shot Riddick
and threatened their lives if they ever told anyone; and
that, after shooting Riddick, defendant fled on foot, buried
his guns and clothes in the woods, hitched a ride home from a
school friend, Damon Boone, who just happened to be driving
by and saw defendant walking down the street, and then
defendant hid out in his camper for three days.
the first two days of trial, the State had called eight
witnesses, including Ben, Howell, Pierce, Hurdle, and Boone,
and three initial responders. Near the end of the second day
of trial, the State was directly examining its ninth and
final witness, Captain Glynda Parker of the Gates County
Sheriff's Department. Captain Parker testified that she
arrived to the scene after the initial responding officers
and EMS, observed the paramedics treat Riddick and get him
ready for transport to a hospital, and then spoke with the
initial responding officers, who explained they found a shell
casing in the hallway and a bullet hole in the television.
Captain Parker described the layout of Riddick's house
and laid a foundation for about twenty photographs she took
at the crime scene, including the several guns, bullets, and
bullet holes found at the residence. These photographs were
introduced into evidence and published to the jury, ending
the second day of trial.
start of day three, a juror asked the trial judge whether the
jury may question trial witnesses, and the judge replied that
they could not:
THE COURT: Good morning. I understand that somebody had a
question they wanted to ...