State v. Lowery, 219 N.C. App. 151 (Feb. 21, 2012)

The trial court did not err by excluding the defendant’s statement to a doctor, offered under Rule 803(4) (hearsay exception for medical diagnosis and treatment). The defendant told the doctor that he only confessed to the murder because an officer told him he would receive the death penalty if he did not do so. Relying on appellate counsel’s admission that the defendant saw the doctor with the hope that any mental illness he may have had could be diagnosed and used as a defense at trial, the court concluded, “[e]ven though defendant may have wanted continued treatment if he did, in fact, have a mental illness, his primary objective was to present the diagnosis as a defense.” The court also noted that the defendant did not make any argument as to how his statement was relevant to medical diagnosis or treatment.