State v. Pender, 218 N.C. App. 233 (Jan. 17, 2012)

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the defendant’s motion to strike a juror for cause or his request for an additional peremptory challenge. The defendant argued that a juror should have been excused for cause based on his comments during voir dire that he knew “things that [he] probably shouldn’t know, knowing some of the details.” Asked to elaborate, he indicated that he had read about the case in the newspaper. The trial court and the defendant then inquired further as to whether the juror could follow the law and be impartial. The juror indicated that he could put aside what he had read and make a decision based on the evidence. The court noted that the trial court was very careful to give considerable attention to its determination of whether the juror’s prior knowledge of the case would impair his ability to fairly evaluate the evidence and in accordance with trial court’s instructions.