State v. Macon, 236 N.C. App. 182 (Sept. 2, 2014)

The trial court did not err by admitting in-court identification of the defendant by two officers. The defendant argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the officers’ in-court identifications because the procedure they used to identify him violated the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act (EIRA) and his constitutional due process rights. After the officers observed the defendant at the scene, they returned to the police station and put the suspect’s name into their computer database. When a picture appeared, both officers identified the defendant as the perpetrator. The officers then pulled up another photograph of the defendant and confirmed that he was the perpetrator. This occurred within 10-15 minutes of the incident in question. The court concluded that the identification based on two photographs was not a “lineup” and therefore was not subject to the EIRA. Next, the court held that even assuming the procedure was impermissibly suggestive, the officers’ in-court identification was admissible because it was based on an independent source, their clear, close and unobstructed view of the suspect at the scene.