State v. Carvalho, 369 N.C. 309 (Oct. 6, 2015)

In this murder case, the Court of Appeals held, over a dissent, that the trial court did not err by admitting under Rule 404(b) portions of an audiotape and a corresponding transcript, which included a conversation between the defendant and an individual, Anderson, with whom the defendant was incarcerated. Anderson was a key witness for the State and his credibility was crucial. The 404(b) evidence was not admitted for propensity but rather to show: that the defendant trusted and confided in Anderson; the nature of their relationship, in that the defendant was willing to discuss commission of the crimes at issue with Anderson; and relevant factual information to the murder charge for which the defendant was on trial. These were proper purposes. Additionally, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting this evidence under the Rule 403 balancing test.