State v. Clonts

802 S.E.2d 531 (2017)

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State v. Clonts

North Carolina Court of Appeals
802 S.E.2d 531 (2017)

Facts

Sam Clonts (defendant) was charged with the shooting of Aaron Allen. Clonts claimed that he shot Allen in defense of Denise Whisman-Vazquez. Prior to trial, the prosecution (plaintiff) filed a motion to depose Whisman-Vazquez. Whisman-Vazquez was in the U.S. Navy and was deployed overseas at the time. The prosecution asserted that even after Whisman-Vazquez returned from her deployment, she was always liable to be deployed again. As a result, the prosecution asked the court to permit the transcript or video of Whisman-Vazquez’s deposition to be admitted at trial pursuant to North Carolina Rule of Evidence 804(b)(1). Clonts objected to the motion and asked the court to continue the trial until such time as Whisman-Vazquez returned stateside. The prosecution objected to this requested continuance. The trial court denied the request for continuance and granted the prosecution’s motion to allow the deposition testimony to be admissible at trial. In doing so, the court found only that Whisman-Vazquez was in the military and outside the country. Clonts appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McGee, C.J.)

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