State v. Gettys, 243 N.C. App. 590 (Oct. 20, 2015)

(1) The trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting a recording of a witness’s interview with the police for corroboration and impeachment. The witness in question testified for the State. Although much of her testimony was consistent with her earlier interview, it diverged in some respects. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the State had called the witness in pretext so as to be able to introduce her prior inconsistent statements as impeachment. In this respect it noted the trial court’s finding that her testimony was “90 percent consistent with what she said before.” Additionally the trial court gave appropriate limiting instructions. The court went on to reject the defendant’s argument that admitting the recording for both corroboration and impeachment is “logically contradictory and counterintuitive,” noting that the State did not introduce a single pretrial statement for both corroboration and impeachment; rather, it introduced a recording of the witness’s interview, which included many pretrial statements, some of which tended to corroborate her testimony and some of which tended to impeach her testimony. (2) The trial court did not abuse its discretion by allowing a detective to read portions of the transcript of the recording. The defendant argued that the trial court’s decision to allow the detective to read portions of the transcript that the State believed were not clearly audible from the recording intruded upon the province of the jury. The court concluded, however, that because the detective interviewed the witness, she had personal knowledge of the interview and could testify about it at trial. Additionally, the trial court gave a proper limiting instruction.