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Criminal Practice — Second-Degree Murder – Evidence – Prior Bad Acts

State v. Mangum (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-07-0678, 24 pp.) (Ann Marie Calabria, J.) Appealed from Durham County Superior Court (Paul Ridgeway, J.) N.C. App.

Holding: The stabbing incident in question and an earlier incident both involved defendant and her current boyfriend, escalation of an argument that led to the use of force between the participants, defendant’s further escalation of the argument, and defendant’s deliberate decision to obtain a knife from the kitchen; accordingly, evidence from the earlier incident was probative of defendant’s motive, intent, and plan in the instant case.

We find no error in defendant’s conviction of second-degree murder.

Given the substantial similarities between the two incidents, the 14-month gap between the events was not so significant as to render defendant’s prior acts irrelevant; thus, the temporal proximity of the acts was a question of evidentiary weight to be determined by the jury.


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