State v. Patino, 207 N.C. App. 322 (Oct. 5, 2010)

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by failing to conduct an inquiry into allegations of jury misconduct or by denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial. The day after the verdict was delivered in the defendant’s sexual battery trial and at the sentencing hearing, defense counsel moved for a new trial, arguing that several jurors had admitted looking up, on the Internet during trial, legal terms (sexual gratification, reasonable doubt, intent, etc.) and the sexual battery statute. The trial court did not conduct any further inquiry and denied defendant’s motion. Because definitions of legal terms are not extraneous information under Evidence Rule 606 and did not implicate defendant’s constitutional right to confront witnesses against him, the allegations were not proper matters for an inquiry by the trial court.