Bootprint Expert Testifies in 11 Year Old Murder Case

A Canadian shoe impressions expert witness was allowed to testify in a South Carolina murder trial regarding bootprints made at the scene 11 years ago. Crime scene expert Robert Kennedy said foot impressions made inside the insole of a pair of low-top boots were similar to test impressions made by the defendant Jeffery Jones. This is the second trial for Jones after his original guilty sentence was overturned.

As reported in the South Carolina’s The State:

[Forensic expert] Kennedy, who retired last June after 40 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was a fingerprint expert, tire track expert, and footprint expert before 1989, when he began studying the impressions feet make inside shoes.

Kennedy testified at Jones’ first trial, saying Jones’ insole impression matched those of the boots linked to the crime scene.

But the S.C. Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2001, saying the judge should not have allowed the insole impressions testimony because it said the techniques lacked sufficient peer review to qualify as a science that could be used as evidence.

It is interesting to note that the evidence was thrown out after the Daubert decision. However, the Circuit Court Judge Deadra Jefferson later allowed the insole impressions evidence, saying the method had gained scientific credibility.