State v. Mylett, ___ N.C. App. ___, 822 S.E.2d 518 (Dec. 4, 2018)

rev’d on other grounds, ___ N.C. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (May. 1, 2020)

In this case involving a conviction for conspiracy to harass a juror, the trial court did not err by allowing the juror-witnesses to testify, over objection, about a fraternity fight that formed the basis for the criminal trial in which the defendant was accused of harassing jurors. The criminal trial involved the defendant’s brother Dan and the charges against Dan arose out of the fraternity fight. The defendant’s charges of intimidating jurors arose out of his conduct with respect to those jurors after they rendered their verdict in Dan’s case. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the jurors’ testimony regarding the fight constituted hearsay, concluding that it was offered for the legitimate, nonhearsay purpose of proving the jurors’ states of mind.

            At the same time the trial court properly denied the defendant an opportunity to testify about the fight because his testimony constituted inadmissible hearsay. Specifically, his statement describing the fight that “the officer admitted he didn’t try to spit on him” was proffered for the truth of the matter asserted and is inadmissible hearsay.