State v. Cox, ___ N.C. App. ___, 800 S.E.2d 692 (May. 2, 2017)

In this impaired driving second-degree murder case, the trial court did not err by preventing the defendant from cross-examining witness Cooke regarding the contents of a verified complaint that Cooke had filed against the defendant and the estate of the deceased victim on behalf of himself and Cooke’s son, who was injured in the crash. The State filed a motion in limine to prevent the defendant from cross-examining Cooke regarding the contents of the verified civil complaint. The trial court granted the State’s motion and prohibited the defendant from cross-examining Cooke regarding the allegations in the complaint or about any bias that might result from Cooke’s financial interest in the defendant’s prosecution. Cooke was called by the State to testify about his family and the child’s injuries. The State did not elicit any testimony from him regarding cause of the crash and he did not offer any testimony that would tend to sway the jury in deciding the defendant’s guilt. The defendant failed to show that the trial court’s decision to limit the scope of cross-examination influenced the jury’s verdict.