State v. Madonna, ___ N.C. App. ___, 806 S.E.2d 356 (Oct. 17, 2017)

In this murder case, the prosecutor’s statement that the defendant “can’t keep her knees together or her mouth shut” was “improperly abusive.” The defendant was charged with murdering her husband, and the State’s evidence indicated that she was having an affair with her therapist. However, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the defendant’s motion for a mistrial--a “drastic remedy”--on grounds of the prosecutor’s improper statements. The prosecutor’s statements that the defendant had lied to the jury while testifying at trial were clearly improper, as was the prosecutor’s statement referring to the defendant as a narcissist. However, considering the overwhelming evidence of guilt, the prosecutor’s remarks did not render the trial and conviction fundamentally unfair and thus the trial court did not err by failing to intervene ex mero motu.