State v. Barbour, 229 N.C. App. 635 (Sept. 17, 2013)

The trial court did not err by examining the verdict sheet returned by the jury, rejecting the verdict, and instructing the jury to answer each question. The trial court acted before consulting with counsel but did consult with counsel after the jury was removed from the courtroom. The court noted that “While it would have been preferable for the trial court to have excused the jury from the courtroom, and allowed counsel to view the verdict sheet and to be heard prior to the court’s instructions to the jury, we can discern no prejudice to defendant based upon what [actually] happened.” The court noted that because the trial court instructed the jury to re-mark the verdict sheet next to their original markings, the original markings were preserved.