State v. Lynch, ___ N.C. App. ___, 803 S.E.2d 190 (Jul. 5, 2017)

In this drug trafficking case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by declining to declare a mistrial because of a prospective juror’s comment. In the presence of the rest of the jury pool, the prospective juror stated that he had seen the defendant “around” and “I believe she did it.” The defendant moved for a mistrial. The trial judge denied the motion but indicated that it would instruct the jury to cure any potential for prejudice. The trial judge immediately dismissed the prospective juror and gave a lengthy curative instruction to the jury pool. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the comment required a mistrial as a matter of law. The court held that in light of the trial court’s curative instruction, the trial court acted well within its discretion in denying the defendant’s motion for a mistrial.

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