State v. Shore, ___ N.C. App. ___, 814 S.E.2d 464 (Apr. 3, 2018)

In this child sexual assault case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by failing to sua sponte declare a mistrial. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that a mistrial was required by certain behavior of the victim’s father. The defendant had pointed to several instances of conduct by the victim’s father which he argued disrupted the “atmosphere of judicial calm” to which he was entitled. The court noted that with respect to each of the instances in question, the trial judge took immediate measures to address the behavior and the defendant did not request additional action by the trial court, move for a mistrial, or object to the trial court’s method of handling the matter. The court found that “in light of the immediate and reasonable steps” by the trial court in response to the conduct, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in failing to declare a mistrial sua sponte.