State v. Twitty, 212 N.C. App. 100 (May. 17, 2011)

The trial court did not err by failing to intervene ex mero motu when the prosecutor referred to the defendant as a con man, liar, and parasite. The defendant was charged with obtaining property by false pretenses, an offense committed by deceiving or lying to win the confidence of victims. Given that the defendant lied to a church congregation in order to convince them to give him money, there was no impropriety in the State’s reference to the defendant as a liar and con man; the terms accurately characterize the charged offense and the evidence presented at trial. As for the term “parasite,” the court concluded: “this name-calling by the State was unnecessary and unprofessional, but does not rise to the level of gross impropriety.”