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

In this stalking case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting into evidence Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVPOs) obtained by the victim against the defendant. The defendant asserted that the findings of fact in the DVPOs unfairly prejudiced him and confused the jury. The court found that the DVPOs were relevant to show the defendant’s course of conduct as well as his motive to commit the current offense. It noted that after reviewing the DVPOs, the trial court redacted those portions it found to be unfairly prejudicial to defendant, and only the redacted versions were admitted into evidence and published to the jury. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the jury was highly likely to regard the findings contained in the DVPOs as true and binding simply because they had been handwritten by a district court judge, noting that the trial court redacted the DVPOs and properly instructed the jury regarding the State’s burden of proof as well as the jury’s duty to find the facts.