State v. Chapman, 244 N.C. App. 699 (Jan. 5, 2016)

In this armed robbery case, the statement at issue was not hearsay because it was not offered for the truth of the matter asserted. At trial one issue was whether an air pistol used was a dangerous weapon. The State offered a detective who performed a test fire on the air pistol. He testified that he obtained the manual for the air pistol to understand its safety and operation before conducting the test. He testified that the owner’s manual indicated that the air pistol shot BBs at a velocity of 440 feet per second and had a danger distance of 325 yards. He noted that he used this information to conduct the test fire in a way that would avoid injury to himself. The defendant argued that this recitation from the manual was offered to prove that the gun was a dangerous weapon. The court concluded however that this statement was offered for a proper non-hearsay purpose: to explain the detective’s conduct when performing the test fire.