State v. Martinez, ___ N.C. App. ___, 801 S.E.2d 356 (May. 16, 2017)

In this child sexual assault case, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that a statement made by a prospective juror violated his constitutional right to an impartial jury and constituted plain error. Specifically, the defendant argued that the prospective juror’s statement that her uncle was a local defense attorney who had told her his job was to “get the bad guys off” amounted to a comment on the defendant’s guilt from a reliable source. The court found that the statement in question was generic and did not imply any particular knowledge of the defendant’s case or the possibility that the defendant might be guilty.