A Murder and Arson Case for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted review in State v. Prall.  The question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “In this trial for murder and arson, did the trial court err in admitting testimony about defendant’s prior threats and in its handling of testimony concerning the victim’s belief that defendant started the fire?”  In granting certification, the Court also authorized supplemental briefing.

In a per curiam opinion, the Appellate Division (Judges Sabatino, Accurso, and O’Connor) reversed defendant’s conviction on the grounds that “prior bad act” evidence was improperly admitted at trial, in violation of Evidence Rule 404(b).  That is the ruling that the Supreme Court has agreed to review.