State v. Hobson, ___ N.C. App. __, 819 S.E.2d 397 (Aug. 21, 2018)

In this case where the defendant was convicted of stalking victim Lorrie, with whom the defendant had a dating relationship, the trial court did not commit plain error by introducing 404(b) evidence from Holly, the defendant’s ex-girlfriend. The defendant argued that the trial court erred in failing to exclude Holly’s testimony that the defendant had assaulted her in the past, that she was afraid of the defendant, and that the defendant told Holly “he would never be arrested again” and “he would not be taken alive.” The court disagreed, finding that Holly’s testimony established that Lorrie was in reasonable fear of the defendant. Holly testified to texting Lorrie about the assault and warning Lorrie to be careful, and that Holly herself was afraid of the defendant. This testimony demonstrates both that Lorrie had a legitimate basis for her fear of the defendant and that her fear was reasonable as required by the stalking statute. Similarly, the court noted, the defendant’s statements to Holly¾that “he would never be arrested again” and “he would not be taken alive”¾were made in reference to the assault and further illustrate a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her safety.