State v. Hayes, 239 N.C. App. 539 (Mar. 3, 2015)

In this homicide case where the defendant was charged with murdering his wife, the trial court properly allowed forensic psychologist Ginger Calloway to testify about a report she prepared in connection with a custody proceeding regarding the couple’s children. The report contained, among other things, Calloway’s observations of defendant’s drug use, possible mental illness, untruthfulness during the evaluation process and her opinion that defendant desired to “obliterate” the victim’s relationship with the children. Because the report was arguably unfavorable to defendant and was found in defendant’s car with handwritten markings throughout the document, the report and Calloway’s testimony were relevant for the State to argue the effect of the report on defendant’s state of mind—that it created some basis for defendant’s ill will, intent, or motive towards the victim.