Plaintiff indicted defendant with numerous counts of robbery and brandishing a firearm. Both parties hired Fingerprints Expert Witnesses to provide expert witness testimony and both parties filed motions to exclude. The motion to exclude the plaintiff’s expert is denied and the motion to exclude the defendant’s expert is granted.
Facts: This case (United States of America v. Steve Lundi – United States District Court – Eastern District of New York – July 10th, 2018) involves a robbery. The defendant is charged with Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and Hobbs Act robbery as well as possessing and brandishing a firearm in relation with a crime of violence. Both parties have hired Fingerprints Expert Witnesses to provide testimony in this case. The plaintiff has hired Detective Michael Skelly and the defendant has hired Dr. Simon Cole. Both parties have filed motions to exclude the others expert from testifying.
Discussion: The defendant alleges that the plaintiff’s expert testimony should be excluded because the plaintiff has not conveyed that the multistep ACE-V method for fingerprint analyzation was used properly by Mr. Skelly. The court opines to concrete evidence that Mr. Skelly properly followed the ACE-V method. In fact, the defendant does not argue that the method is flawed or that the method is scientifically valid and reliable. The court, citing another case, ruled that if the defendant determines that the examiner did not comply with the correct procedures, any arguments can be raised at cross-examination as these types of challenges go to the weight of the evidence, not their admissibility. In addition, the court rules, fingerprint analysis has been admitted at trail without having a Daubert hearing and will not preclude them in this case. Thus, the defendant’s motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Detective Michael Skelly is denied.
The plaintiff argues that Dr. Cole’s expert witness testimony should be excluded because the court granted a similar motion against Dr. Cole recently. The plaintiff argues that Dr. Cole’s testimony would only serve to rebut testimony that the plaintiff does not expect to obtain. In addition, the plaintiff argues that Dr. Cole’s proposed testimony regarding best practices when conducting latent fingerprint examinations is not different from the information already contained in reports that were attached to their motion. The court agrees and will preclude Dr. Cole from testifying.
Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Detective Michael Skelly is denied and the motion to exclude the testimony of Dr. Simon Cole is granted.