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 confrontation clause was not violated when the trial court allowed forensic psychologist Ginger Calloway to testify about a report she prepared in connection with a custody proceeding regarding the couple’s children. Defendant argued that Calloway’s report and testimony violated the confrontation clause because they contained third party statements from non-testifying witnesses who were not subject to cross-examination at trial. The court rejected this argument concluding that the report and testimony were not admitted for the truth of the matter asserted but to show “defendant’s state of mind.” In fact, the trial court gave a limiting instruction to that effect, noting that the evidence was relevant “only to the extent it may have been read by . . . defendant” and “had some bearing” on how he felt about the custody dispute with his wife.