State v. Gabriel, 207 N.C. App. 440 (Oct. 19, 2010)

The trial court did not err by admitting a witness’s out of court statements. When a State’s witness gave trial testimony inconsistent with his prior statements to the police, the State cross-examined him regarding his prior statements. After the witness denied making the statements, the trial court overruled a defense objection and admitted, for purposes of impeachment by the State, a transcript of the witness’s prior statements. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the State used the guise of impeaching its own witness as subterfuge for admitting otherwise inadmissible evidence. Distinguishing prior case law, the court noted that the trial judge gave an appropriate limiting instruction, the evidence was important to the State’s case, and nothing suggested that the State expected the witness’s testimony.