State v. Brent, 367 N.C. 73 (Jun. 27, 2013)

Reversing the Court of Appeals, the court held that by failing to make a timely objection at trial and failing to argue plain error in the Court of Appeals, the defendant failed to preserve the question of whether substitute analyst testimony in a drug case violated his confrontation rights. The court noted that at trial the defendant objected to the testimony related to the composition of the substance only outside the presence of the jury; he did not object to admission of either the expert’s opinion or the raw data at the time they were offered into evidence. He thus failed to preserve the issue for review. Furthermore, the defendant failed to preserve his challenge to admission of the raw data by failing to raise it in his brief before the Court of Appeals. Moreover, the court concluded, even if the issues had been preserved, under Ortiz-Zape, the defendant would lose on the merits.