State v. Hogan, 218 N.C. App. 305 (Jan. 17, 2012)

The trial court committed reversible error by denying the defendant the right to the final argument based on its ruling that he had “introduced” evidence within the meaning of Rule 10 of the General Rules of Practice for the Superior and District Courts during his cross-examination of the victim. During that cross defense counsel read aloud several portions of the victim’s earlier statement to an officer, in what appears to have been an attempt to point out inconsistencies between the victim’s trial testimony and his prior statement; defense counsel also asked the victim questions, including whether he had told the officer everything that happened when he provided his statement. The statements read and referenced by defense counsel directly related to the victim’s testimony on direct examination. Furthermore, defense counsel never formally introduced the statement into evidence. Thus, the defendant never “introduced” evidence within the meaning of Rule 10.