State v. Peterson, 228 N.C. App. 339 (Jul. 16, 2013)

At the MAR hearing, the trial court properly excluded the State’s expert witness, who did not testify at the original trial. The court viewed the State’s position as “trying to collaterally establish that the jury would have reached the same verdict based on evidence not introduced at trial.” It concluded that the trial court properly excluded this evidence:

Defendant’s newly discovered evidence concerned Agent Deaver, arguably, the State’s most important expert witness. Thus, the State could have offered its own evidence regarding Agent Deaver’s qualifications, lack of bias, or the validity of his experiments and conclusions. Furthermore, the State was properly allowed to argue that the evidence at trial was so overwhelming that the newly discovered evidence would have no probable impact on the jury’s verdict. However, the State may not try to minimize the impact of this newly discovered evidence by introducing evidence not available to the jury at the time of trial. Thus, the trial court did not err in prohibiting the introduction of this evidence at the MAR hearing.