State v. Cox, 245 N.C. App. 307 (Feb. 2, 2016)

In this child sexual assault case, the trial court did not err by refusing to appoint counsel to litigate the defendant’s pro se motion for post-conviction DNA testing. Under G.S. 15A-269(c), to be entitled to counsel, the defendant must establish that the DNA testing may be material to his wrongful conviction claim. The defendant’s burden to show materiality requires more than a conclusory statement. Here, the defendant’s conclusory contention that testing was material was insufficient to carry his burden. Additionally, the defendant failed to include the lab report that he claims shows that certain biological evidence was never analyzed. The court noted that the record does not indicate whether this evidence still exists and that after entering a guilty plea, evidence need only be preserved until the earlier of 3 years from the date of conviction or until the defendant is released.