State v. Call, 230 N.C. App. 45 (Oct. 1, 2013)

(1) In a larceny by merchant case, statements made by a deceased Wal-Mart assistant manager to the store’s loss prevention coordinator were non-testimonial. The loss prevention coordinator was allowed to testify that the assistant manager had informed him about the loss of property, triggering the loss prevention coordinator’s investigation of the matter. The court stated:

[The] statement was not made in direct response to police interrogation or at a formal proceeding while testifying. Rather, [the declarant] privately notified his colleague . . . about a loss of product at the Wal-Mart store. This statement was made outside the presence of police and before defendant was arrested and charged. Thus, the statement falls outside the purview of the Sixth Amendment. Furthermore, [the] statement was not aimed at defendant, and it is unreasonable to believe that his conversation with [the loss prevention coordinator] would be relevant two years later at trial since defendant was not a suspect at the time this statement was made.

(2) Any assertions by the assistant manager contained in a receipt for evidence form signed by him were non-testimonial. The receipt—a law enforcement document—established ownership of the baby formula that had been recovered by the police, as well as its quantity and type; its purpose was to release the property from the police department back to the store.