in the Court of Appeals 5 October 2017.
by defendant from judgment entered 18 October 2016 by Judge
Eric L. Levinson in Davidson County Superior Nos.
14CRS052802, 052862 Court.
Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney
General John W. Congleton, for the State.
& Petersen, P.A., by James R. Glover, for
October 18, 2016, a Davidson County jury found Quincy Jerome
Solomon ("Defendant") guilty of second degree
murder and fleeing to elude arrest. Defendant appeals
contending the trial court erred by excluding testimony
regarding Defendant's purported diagnosed mental
disorders. We disagree.
and Procedural Background
night of May 28, 2014, Defendant transported a group of his
friends in his Mitsubishi Eclipse from Thomasville, North
Carolina to a friend's home in High Point, North
Carolina. Defendant was never issued a driver's license,
and his privilege to drive was suspended in October 2013 due
to a conviction for driving by a person less than twenty-one
years old after consuming alcohol or drugs. Defendant's
vehicle had no insurance, registration, or license plate.
staying in Thomasville for approximately one hour, Defendant
attempted to return to High Point with Keith Sheffield
("the victim") sitting in the front-passenger seat
and Justin Walker ("Justin") sitting on the rear
floor as there were no seats in the back of Defendant's
vehicle. At that time, the Thomasville Police Department had
established a license check station on National Highway.
Around 1:00 a.m. on May 29, 2014, Sergeant Jason Annas
observed Defendant's vehicle travel towards the license
check station, crest over a hill, and make an illegal U-turn.
Defendant traveled away from the license check station at a
high rate of speed with a rear taillight out.
Dustin Gallimore activated the lights and siren on his marked
patrol car and pursued Defendant's vehicle heading
northeast on National Highway. Officer Gallimore's patrol
car reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour in a
forty-five mile-per-hour zone in his effort to apprehend
Defendant. During the seven-mile pursuit, Defendant: (1)
drove his vehicle between fifteen and fifty-five miles per
hour over the speed limit while driving through multiple
residential areas where he passed both pedestrians and
vehicles parked on narrow streets; (2) drove into a private
driveway, turned around, and then drove towards the oncoming
officer's patrol car while revving his engine; (3) drove
left of the center lane and straddled the middle double
yellow lines; (4) lost control of his vehicle on a curve in
the road and went off of the road; (5) traveled at speeds of
seventy to eighty miles per hour; (6) avoided stop sticks
deployed by law enforcement; and (7) failed to stop at five
stop signs during the pursuit. Defendant ultimately lost
control of the vehicle and crashed into a ravine.
arrived on scene shortly thereafter to find the vehicle
upside down in the ravine, Justin standing behind the vehicle
with a laceration to his arm, and Defendant on the ground
holding the victim's head in his hands. Defendant told
officers on scene, "This is all my fault. They were
telling me to slow down and stop. I did not. I was driving.
These other guys did not have anything to do with this. They
were telling me to slow down and stop." The victim died
on May 31, 2014 from injuries sustained in the crash.
2, 2014, Defendant was indicted by the Davidson County Grand
Jury for second degree murder, speeding to elude arrest, and
attempted assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement
officer. The charge of attempted assault with a deadly weapon
on a law enforcement officer was dismissed.
trial, Defendant attempted to testify to his cognitive
impairments and behavioral problems on direct examination.
The State objected to Defendant's testimony, arguing that
Defendant had failed to provide notice of an insanity or
diminished capacity defense, and he had failed to provide an
expert witness or medical documentation for any of the
purported conditions. On voir dire, Defendant
testified that he suffered from several mental disorder
including Attention Deficit Disorder ("ADD"),
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD"),
Pediatric Bipolar Disorder ("PBD"), and
Oppositional Defiant Disorder ("ODD").
Defendant's counsel stated they were not offering the
testimony as a defense, but instead "offering it so the
jury would be aware of [Defendant's] condition and state
trial court determined that lay testimony from Defendant
regarding his various purported mental disorders would not be
allowed because it was not relevant pursuant to Rule 401 of
the North Carolina Rules of Evidence. However, the trial
court did allow Defendant to testify to his general
behavioral issues and academic performance.
October 18, 2016, the jury found Defendant guilty of second
degree murder and fleeing to elude arrest. Defendant was
sentenced to 162 to 207 months in prison for the second
degree murder offense, and the trial court arrested judgment
on the fleeing to elude arrest offense. Defendant gave notice
of appeal in open court upon entry of final judgment.
contends on appeal that the trial court erred by excluding
Defendant's testimony concerning his purported medical
diagnoses as irrelevant under ...