State v. Rollins, 367 N.C. 114 (Oct. 4, 2013)

The court per curiam affirmed the decision below, State v. Rollins, 224 N.C. App. 197 (Dec. 4, 2012), in which the court of appeals had held, over a dissent, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the defendant’s MAR without an evidentiary hearing. The MAR asserted that the defendant “did not receive a fair trial as a result of a juror watching irrelevant and prejudicial television publicity during the course of the trial, failing to bring this fact to the attention of the parties or the Court, and arguing vehemently for conviction during jury deliberations.” Although the MAR was supported by an affidavit from one of the jurors, the court found that the affidavit “merely contained general allegations and speculation.” The defendant’s MAR failed to specify which news broadcast the juror in question had seen; the degree of attention the juror had paid to the broadcast; the extent to which the juror received or remembered the broadcast; whether the juror had shared the contents of the news broadcast with other jurors; and the prejudicial effect, if any, of the alleged juror misconduct.