State v. Kelly, 221 N.C.App. 643, 727 S.E.2d 912 (Jul. 17, 2012)

The court admonished defense counsel for exceeding the bounds of zealous advocacy. In attacking the professionalism and ethics of the prosecutors, counsel said that the prosecutor “failed to investigate the truth”; “distort[ed] the truth”; “misled and misrepresented facts”; “subverted the truth by presenting false evidence in the form of [defendant’s] confession”; “suppressed the truth by failing to disclose potentially truth-enhancing evidence”; and “dominated the fact-finding process all led directly to [defendant’s] conviction for a crime she did not commit.” Counsel asserted that “[a] prosecutor should be professionally disciplined for proceeding with prosecution if a fair-minded person could not reasonably conclude, on the facts known to the prosecutor, that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” These comments were unsupported by the record and “highly inappropriate.” The court “urge[d] counsel to refrain from making such comments in the future.”