State v. Maness, 363 N.C. 261 (Jun. 18, 2009)

The trial court did not commit plain error by submitting both the (e)(4) (murder committed to prevent arrest or effect escape) and (e)(8) (crime committed against law enforcement officer) aggravating circumstances. The (e)(4) aggravating circumstance focuses on the defendant’s subjective motivation for his or her actions while the (e)(8) aggravating circumstance pertains to the underlying factual basis of the crime. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the aggravating circumstances impermissibly overlapped because the defendant’s motive for killing the officer was to avoid the very arrest that the officer was attempting to carry out at the time of the killing.