State v. Crumitie, ___ N.C. App. ___, 831 S.E.2d 592 (Jul. 16, 2019)

In this murder and attempted murder case, an officer responded to the shooting at the victim’s apartment. Upon arrival, he saw a man running with a towel in his hands and gave chase. The officer could not catch the man and instead found one of the victims, the defendant’s ex-girlfriend. She was able to describe the assailant and provide his name. The officer then located a DMV picture of the suspect and identified the defendant as the person he saw running earlier. The defendant sought to suppress this identification as a violation of the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act (“EIRA”). Specifically, the defendant argued the officer failed to conduct the “show-up” in accord with EIRA procedure. The trial court denied the motion and the court of appeals affirmed. The EIRA applies to “live lineups, photo lineups, and show-ups.” “Here, the inadvertent out-of-court identification of defendant, based on a single DMV photo accessed by an investigating officer, was neither a lineup or a show-up under the EIRA, and thus not subject to those statutory protections.” Even if the identification was suggestive, there was no substantial likelihood of misidentification under the facts of the case, and the denial of the motion was affirmed.

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