State v. Rollins, 220 N.C. App. 443 (May. 15, 2012)

(1) The trial court did not err by admitting evidence that the defendant received two citations for driving without a license, including one only three days before the crash at issue. The fact that the defendant drove after having been repeatedly informed that driving without a license was unlawful was relevant to malice. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that admission of the “bare fact” of the citations violated the Wilkerson rule (bare fact of a conviction may not be admitted under Rule 404(b)). The court noted that Wilkerson recognized that conviction for a traffic-related offense may "show the malice necessary to support a second-degree murder conviction," because it was "the underlying evidence that showed the necessary malice, not the fact that a trial court convicted the defendant." Thus, the court concluded, Wilkerson does not apply. (3) The trial court did not err by admitting an officer’s testimony of the defendant’s conduct after the crash. The evidence suggested that the defendant was continuing to try to escape regardless of the collision and in callous disregard for the condition of his passengers and as such supports a finding of malice.