State v. Grooms, 230 N.C. App. 56 (Oct. 1, 2013)

In a second-degree murder case arising after the defendant drove while impaired and hit and killed two bicyclists, the trial court did not err by admitting Rule 404(b) evidence. Specifically, Thelma Shumaker, a woman defendant dated, testified regarding an incident where the defendant drove while impaired on the same road two months before the collision in question. Shumaker also testified that the defendant habitually drank alcohol, drank alcohol while driving 20 times, and drove while impaired one or two additional times. The trial court found that Shumaker’s testimony regarding the specific incident was admissible to show malice. With regard to Shumaker’s other testimony, the court held that even if the evidence was inadmissible, the defendant could not establish the requisite prejudice, given the other evidence.