State v. Williams, 363 N.C. 689 (Dec. 11, 2009)

An officer’s testimony that a substance found on a vehicle looked like residue from a car wash explained the officer’s observations about spots on the vehicle and was not a lay opinion. The officer properly testified to a lay opinion that (1) the victims were not shot in the vehicle, when that opinion was rationally based on the officer’s observations regarding a lack of pooling blood in or around the vehicle, a lack of shell casings in or around the car, very little blood spatter in the vehicle, and no holes or projectiles found inside or outside the vehicle; (2) one of the victim was “winched in” the vehicle using rope found in the vehicle, when that opinion was based upon his perception of blood patterns, the location of the vehicle, and the positioning of and tension on the rope on the seat and the victim’s hands; and (3) the victims were dragged through the grass at the defendant’s residence, when that opinion was based on his observations at the defendant’s residence and his experience in luminol testing.

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