State v. Broyhill, ___ N.C. App. ___, 803 S.E.2d 832 (Jul. 18, 2017)

(1) In this murder case, the trial court did not err by excluding the testimony of a defense psychiatrist on the basis that the witness’s proffered testimony constituted expert opinion testimony that had not been disclosed pursuant to a reciprocal discovery order. The witness, Dr. Badri Hamra, was a psychiatrist with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety who treated the defendant fifteen months after his arrest. On appeal, the defendant argued that Hamra was proffered as a fact witness regarding the issue of premeditation and deliberation. Defendant further argued that as a fact witness, she was outside of the scope of the reciprocal discovery order, which applied only to expert witnesses. The court agreed with the trial court that Hamra intended to offer expert opinion testimony. Hamra testified that the defendant had a psychiatric condition for which the doctor had prescribed medication. He clarified that his decision to prescribe medication was based not merely on his review of the defendant’s medical history but on his own evaluation of the defendant. Finally he confirmed he would only have prescribed medication for a legitimate medical reason, dismissing the notion that he would write a prescription simply because the defendant asked him to do so. His testimony was tantamount to a diagnosis, which constitutes expert testimony.