State v. Carter (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-251-17, 10 pp.) (Lucy Inman, J.) Appealed from Cabarrus County Superior Court (Martin McGee, J.) N.C. App.
Holding: Even though the trial court should not have permitted the arresting officer to repeatedly refer to the substance that fell from defendant’s person as “crack cocaine,” since the state introduced additional evidence in the form of a lab report and expert testimony by a chemical analyst with the State Crime Laboratory, the error was harmless.
We find no prejudicial error in defendant’s convictions of possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a motor vehicle, and attaining habitual felon status.
In light of the chemical analysis and related expert opinion that the substance that fell from defendant’s person had unique chemical properties consistent with the presence of cocaine, defendant has failed to establish a reasonable probability that if his trial counsel had objected, and if the trial court had excluded the arresting officer’s visual identification testimony, the result of the proceeding would have been different. Therefore, defendant has failed to show ineffective assistance of counsel.