Facts of the Crime:
Defendant was indicted 7 September 1994 for first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, and robbery with a dangerous weapon. In January 1996 he was tried capitally and found guilty of first-degree murder upon theories of (i) malice, premeditation, and deliberation and (ii) felony murder. He was also found guilty of first-degree burglary and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Following a capital sentencing proceeding, the jury recommended a sentence of death for the murder, and the trial court entered judgment accordingly. For the first-degree burglary conviction, the trial court entered a consecutive sentence of imprisonment for fifty years, and for the robbery conviction, a consecutive sentence of forty years. We find no error meriting reversal of defendant's convictions. However, for the reasons stated herein, we conclude that defendant is entitled to a new capital sentencing proceeding. On 17 August 1994, Georgia Ann Dayberry Hamrick ("victim"), eighty-three, was battered and knifed to death in her home in Spindale, Rutherford County, North Carolina.