State v. Laurean, 20 N.C. App. 342 (May. 1, 2012)

In a murder case, the trial court did not err by excluding defense evidence of the victims’ military disciplinary infractions. Both the defendant and the victim were in the military. After several military infractions, the victim was referred to the defendant for counseling. The victim later alleged that the defendant raped her. She was subsequently killed. At trial, the defendant sought to question military personnel about the victim’s disciplinary infractions which led to the request that he counsel her. The defendant argued that this evidence established the victim’s motive for making a false rape allegation against him. The trial court excluded this evidence. The court of appeals concluded that the question of whether the victim’s accusation of rape was grounded in fact or falsehood was not before the jury. Moreover, her specific instances of conduct unrelated to the defendant shed no light upon the crimes charged. Therefore, it concluded, the specific instances of conduct resulting in minor disciplinary infractions were not relevant and were properly excluded.