January 30, 2014

Forensic Pathology Expert Witness Testifies In Hyperthermia Death Case

Forensic pathology expert witness Dr. Robert Kurtzman testified in the Grand Junction, CO, case against Heather Jensen. Jensen is charged in the 2012 hyperthermia deaths of her two young sons. Kurtzman described how children succumb to hyperthermia more quickly than adults. Dr. Kurtzman is a Staff Pathologist at the Grand Junction Community Hospital and former Former Mesa County coroner. The Mesa County Coroner's Office website explains their role:

Deaths may be expected, but others; which are sudden, unexpected, and suspicious or from a violent act are investigated by the Coroner’s Office. The responsibility of the Mesa County Coroner’s Office is to conduct a complete unbiased forensic investigation to determine the cause and manner of death, and to answer any questions which may arise. Questions which seem irrelevant in the initial hours after death can become significant in the following months....

Associated Responsibilities

Pronounce the death and establish time of death - Only a physician or the coroner may pronounce a death.
Scene investigation - Colorado law is specific that the body of a deceased person may not be moved until the coroner has responded to the death and conducted the investigation.
Take custody of the body - Colorado law states it is the responsibility of the coroner to see that the body is removed from the scene.
Make positive identification of the deceased - Identification and notification of the next of kin.
Discovery of Remains - Remains that are complete or partial are sometimes found, thus the coroner must follow certain statutory obligations notifying other state agencies.

Suspicious Death Protocol includes:

County Coroner
1. The Coroner’s Office will be notified immediately. As noted above, the official from the Coroner’s Office will be escorted to view the body and pronounce death. Every attempt will be made to insure that the body is not moved until viewed by the Coroner’s Office.
2. If the Coroner’s Office is notified before law enforcement, the Coroner’s Office will immediately advise dispatch to notify the District Attorney’s Office and law enforcement authorities and then proceed to the death scene or to view the body. Prior to entering the death scene, the official from the Coroner’s Office will coordinate his/her efforts with the Crime Scene Supervisor in order to preserve the scene and avoid contamination, as noted above.
3. The Coroner’s Office will determine the need for a forensic autopsy.
4. The Coroner’s Office will communicate directly with the Lead Investigator and the Crime Scene Specialist to facilitate transport of the body to the autopsy and /or funeral home.
5. All unattended child deaths will be autopsied by a forensic pathologist.
6. Depending on the circumstances of the investigation, the autopsy may be attended by Law Enforcement and / or District Attorney or his/her representative. Since the autopsy is part of the investigation to show cause and manner of death, as well as to communicate with law enforcement about details of the investigation, this information would be considered sensitive to the investigation and attendance by others such as defense attorneys, defense investigators and members of the media would not be appropriate.

January 17, 2014

Toxicology Expert Witness Testifies In Dallas Cowboys Player Trial

Toxicology expert witness Justin David Schwane testified in the manslaughter trial of Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent. The Dallas County Crime Lab toxicology chemist testified regarding blood alcohol calculations and determined that Brent had been drinking heavily before the accident that claimed the life of teammate Jerry Brown. Schwane went on to say that Brent may have had as many as 17 alcoholic drinks for his blood alcohol level to reach 0.189. Schwane tested three samples of Brent’s blood at the time of the arrest.

Brent drove his car at 110 mph in a 45 mph zone and crashed into a curb which caused the car to fly into the air.

January 2, 2014

Child Psychology Expert Witness Will Testify In Child Care Assault Case

Child psychology expert witness Dr. Sheri S. Corning, Texas Psychology Service, PLLC, will testify on behalf of Christa Williams-Yates and Mark Yates in their case against Kid City Child Care Learning and Sports Center LLC and Symons Kid City Management LLC of Galveston, TX. In the Galveston County District Court case, the Yates claim that their daughter suffered a dislocated arm after being "violently yanked" by a staff member in 2012.

After the incident, the Yates describe their daughter as distrustful of adults and acting out violently. Child psychology expert witnesses may consult on child psychological trauma and conduct disorder, as well as related topics.

December 31, 2013

Forensic Science Expert Witness & New Haven Trial

Former doctor Lishan Wang has asked that forensic science expert witness Dr. Henry C. Lee defend him in his New Haven, CT, murder trial. Wang is charged in the 2010 death of Yale University physician Dr. Vajinder Toor.

Dr. Lee is founder of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, Chief Emeritus of the Connecticut State Police, and founder and professor of the Forensic Science Program at the University of New Haven Dr. Lee testified on bloodstain pattern analysis in the O.J. Simpson trial.

December 27, 2013

Use Of Force Expert Witness Testfiies In Defense Of CA Police Officers

Police Corporal Stephen Rubio testified in the case against two former Fullerton, CA, police officers in the 2011 death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man. Officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are accused of beating Thomas with a Taser gun, resulting in his death. The use of force expert witness testified that the officers were working within the police department's policies and the use of force was consistent with police training. Rubio is a use of force trainer for the Fullerton Police Department.

December 24, 2013

Art Appraisal Expert Witness Testifies In Farrah Fawcett Portrait Lawsuit

Art appraisal expert witness J. Lee Drexler testified in the case the University of Texas at Austin has brought against Ryan O'Neal. The University is seeking possession of a Farrah Fawcett portrait painted by Andy Warhol. Drexler is the president of Esquire Appraisals, Inc., and based her appraisal on pricing for other works by the artist. She told the jury that the portrait is worth approximately $12M. Appraisal experts may advise regarding fine art valuation, antiques, and collectables.

December 23, 2013

Environmental Expert Witness Testifies In Pipeline Case

Environmental expert witness Dr. Andrew Whelton, Professor at the University of South Alabama, testified for the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System case against Texas oil company Plains Southcap. The oil company has plans to build an interstate oil pipeline under a part of the Big Creek Lake watershed. Mobile, Alabama, circuit court Judge Robert Smith ruled in favor of the Texas oil company which gives the green light for the proposed oil pipeline to be constructed under a lake and reservoir that holds drinking water for a half a million people.

This decision bears scrutiny by environmentalists, as noted by the Mobile Tribune.

December 22, 2013

Wine Expert Testifies In New York Fraud Case

Wine expert witness Michael Egan testified in the New York fraud case against wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan. Egan, Director of Authenticity and Auctions at the Bordeaux Winebank, said that most of the wines at the home of Kurniawan were fakes and not rare vintages. Previous to this exposure, Kurniawan had been touted as one of a select few fine vintage wine collectors. Now he is facing jail if convicted of fraud. The alleged counterfeiter borrowed money against his collection and now owes a New York bank several million dollars.

At http://www.bordeauxwinebank.com, Mr. Egan explains that the production of "fake bottles of the greatest Bordeaux has increased dramatically these last few years." Egan spent over 20 years for Sotheby's in London.

December 20, 2013

Emergency Medicine Expert Witness Testifies For Fullerton, CA, Police Officers

Emergency medicine expert witness Dr. Gary Vilke testified in the case against two former Fullerton, CA, police officers in the death of Kelly Thomas. Officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are accused of beating Thomas into a comatose state resulting in his death. Vilke testified for the defense in the death of the homeless man saying that Thomas did not die of asphyxiation as Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas alleges.

Dr. Gary Vilke is a professor of clinical emergency medicine at UC San Diego and Chief of Staff for the UCSD Medical Center.

December 19, 2013

Forensic Psychology Expert Witness Testifies In Declination Hearing

Forensic psychology expert witness Dr. Nathan D. Henry testified in the declination hearing for a 15-year-old Moses Lake, WA, boy accused of shooting his parents. Dr. Henry described the young man's maturity and possible risk to society. The hearing will determine if the defendant will be tried as an adult or a minor. He told police that his parents had banned him from playing video games. He is charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Declination hearings are extremely important in these types of cases because penalties for serious offenses are significantly higher when the individual is tried in adult court.

December 16, 2013

Criminal Justice Expert Witness Testifies In Class Action Suit

Correctional facilities expert witnesses may consult on the criminal justice system, imprisonment, incarceration, correctional facilities standards of care, and more. Criminal justice expert witness Dr. Richard M. Hough, Sr. testified in the Southern Poverty Law Center class action lawsuit against Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and correctional healthcare contractor Corizon Connections. Hough testified that videos showed appropriate uses of force while the SPLC accuses Judd and Corizon Connections of unconstitutional jail conditions. Dr. Hough is a criminal justice instructor with the University of West Florida.

December 3, 2013

Child Abuse Expert Witness To Testify On Fatal Injuries

Child abuse expert witnesses are prepared to advise regarding child abuse and neglect, and the physical, emotional, or sexual mistreatment of children. A child abuse expert will testify this week in the Saline County, KS, case against Troy Love. Love is accused of first degree murder and child abuse in the death of Bre'Elle Jefferson. Defense attorney Roger Struble, of Blackwell, Blackwell and Struble, says the expert will show that the child's injuries were accidental.

Kansas 28th Judicial District information: http://www.kscourts.org/districts/District-Info.asp?d=28

November 27, 2013

DNA Expert Witness Testifies In Cold Case

DNA expert witness Dr. Mark W. Perlin testified in Beaver County, PA, in the 1979 cold case against Gregory Scott Hopkins. The murder case against Hopkins in the death of his girlfriend Catherine Janet Walsh was reopened due to modern DNA technology. Perlin testified regarding DNA evidence at the scene which connected Hopkins to her murder thirty years ago.

Dr. Perlin is CEO and Chief Scientific Officer at Cybergenetics, and the creator of the TrueAllele® technology. Cybergenetics interprets complex DNA evidence using computers to preserve information inherent in the data, and can extract identification information almost every time. DNA testing was originally developed as a method of determining paternity. It now plays a role in the criminal investigation process and is allowed in post-conviction DNA testing to exonerate those who may have been falsely sentenced.

November 25, 2013

Juvenile Justice System Expert Witness Testifies On Jail Conditions

Juvenile justice system expert witness Paul DeMuro testified in a Polk County, FL, federal trial over the constitutional rights of juveniles at the Polk County jail and the conditions under which they are held. Representing the Southern Poverty Law Center in a class action suit, DeMuro described conditions at the jail, including the use of pepper spray and inadequate supervision. A security camera captured a young detainee being punched and kicked by fellow cellmates and then Polk County deputies spraying them with pepper spray.

Mr. DeMuro has over forty-one years experience working on juvenile justice and child welfare issues. He serves as a senior consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation and to the National Juvenile Detention Association.

November 22, 2013

Firearms Expert Witness Testifies Re: Reaction Times

Firearms expert witness Bryce Linskey testified in the Danbury, CT, murder trial of Robert Bell. Bell is accused in the shooting death of his wife Svetlana Bell in their home in December 2012. Mr. Linsky, now with the armed school security provider Direct Contact Solution LLC, is a retired sergeant with the Bristol Police Department and served in the United States Marine Corps. He testified on firearms, reaction times, and other details of the shooting.

Firearms expert witnesses may testify regarding ammunition, ballistics, firearms, firearms design, and related matters.

November 21, 2013

Accounting Expert Witness Testifies in Samsung Case

Attorney and accounting expert witness Michael Wagner testified last week in the lost profits case between Samsung and Apple. Apple is asking for $114M in lost profits over a touch screen feature. Yesterday Samsung asked Judge Lucy Koh to stop the retrial after the US PTO said an Apple patent might not be valid. The case is in jury deliberation. Samsung's net sales in 2012 were $247.5B.

The US PTO offers Laws, Regulations, Policies & Procedures here: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/index.jsp

November 15, 2013

Arson Detection Expert Witnesses & Texas Case

Arson detection expert witnesses will testify in the Gatesville, TX, murder trial of David K. Allen who is accused of killing his wife, Paula Allen. Fire investigators have already classified the mobile home fire as intentionally set. The former preacher's trial has been delayed from November 2013 to February 2014. Chemical experts will perform laboratory analyses to determine whether an accelerant was used in the 2011 fire.

The current Mrs. Allen, 28, has been indicted for perjury in the case.

November 2, 2013

Chiropractic Expert Witness Testifies In Criminal Sexual Conduct Case

Chiropractic expert witness Dr. Steven S. White testified in the criminal sexual conduct case against Dr. George Young of Munising, MI. Eight patients and two employees have accused Young of inappropriate touching and/or sexual assault which took place in his chiropractic office. Young describes his actions as part of the chiropractic procedure while Dr. White testified that the defendant's conduct was unnecessary and inappropriate. The Traverse City expert witness graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1972.

October 21, 2013

Fire Expert Witnesses To Testify In Arson Case

Fire expert witnesses may provide reports concerning arson detection, arson investigators standards of care, fire equipment, and fire origin and cause. Fire expert witnesses will testify in the Gatesville, TX, case against David K. Allen. Allen is charged with murder in the 2011 death of his wife Paula Allen. Fire investigators will testify as to whether the fire was intentionally set. Allen was charged in 2012 with using an accelerant to start the fire.

October 20, 2013

Veterinary Expert Witness Testifies Re: Stray Voltage

Veterinary expert witnesses may consult on livestock, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions and diseases of animals, and related matters. Veterinarian Dr. Andrew Keeter testified last week in the Millard County, UT, Gunn Hill Dairy case as to whether dairy cows were being affected by stray voltage. Voltage exposure causes lower milk production and a higher death rate in dairy cows.

Keeter testified that milk production in Millard County dairy farms has dropped compared to the national average as well as in comparison to other dairy farms in Utah.