State v. Tatum-Wade, decided 20 August 2013.

The NC rules of evidence are similar to the federal rules, and thus similar to the military rules of evidence.  In construing NC R. Evid. 404 as to what is or isn’t a pertinent character trait, the court found a case on point and cited it to support a finding of error.

Although neither party cites to any North Carolina appellate decision addressing whether a defendant’s trusting nature may be a trait pertinent to the crime charged, defendant does direct our attention to United States v. Elliott, 23 M.J. 1 (C.M.A. 1986),in which the United States Court of Military Appeals addressed this precise issue.

The court applied Elliott and found error, but ultimately found the error harmless.

Interesting I thought.

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