State v. Royster, 237 N.C. App. 64 (Oct. 21, 2014)

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that his confrontation clause rights were violated when the trial court released an out-of-state witness from subpoena. The State subpoenaed the witness from New York to testify at the trial. The witness testified at trial and the defendant had an opportunity to cross-examine him. After the witness stepped down from the witness stand, the State informed the trial court judge that the defense had attempted to serve a subpoena on the witness the day before. The State argued that the subpoena was invalid. The witness refused to speak with the defense outside of court and the trial court required the defense to decide whether to call the individual as a witness before 2:00 p.m. that day. When the appointed time arrived, the defense indicated it had not yet decided whether it would be calling the individual as a witness and the trial court judge released the witness from the summons. The defendant’s confrontation rights were not violated where the witness was available at trial and the defendant had the opportunity to cross-examine him. Additionally, under G.S. 15A-814, the defendant’s subpoena was invalid.