at 2027. In 1982, 17-year-old Yiannoulla Yianni was raped and … However, where the trial court has erred in the admission of evidence, we will not reverse the conviction if that error was harmless. at 778. During this time, Alberto Covarrubias pulled up to his house at 560 North Hamilton. Turner now appeals, contending the trial court erred in admitting certain evidence and that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions. at 4077. As part of a quality assurance review of Brundage's work and because additional evidence had been collected in this case, Putzek, who had succeeded Brundage as supervisor of the firearms section, began examining evidence in the case. Turner contends the trial court erred in admitting evidence of his alleged other crimes, wrongs or acts contrary to Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b). Crime scenes are often riddled with evidence, and other times only a trace of evidence is left behind. Turner recognizes as much when he argues the AFTE standards for identification are entirely subjective and “simply describe what the examiner sees.” Br. See Lytle v. Ford Motor Co., 696 N.E.2d 465, 476 (Ind.Ct.App.1998), trans. Is the Qube the future of video surveillance? In the afternoon of June 1, 2006 several of the neighborhood children and teenagers were playing football in front of an abandoned house at 555 North Hamilton when Turner drove up in a red or burgundy pick-up truck and spoke to Brandon Griffith, one of the teenagers. Shoe fits in 'frenzied killing' case Methodology for Footwear Impression Evidence A. Wiersema's Testimony. Turner's challenge on this point amounts to no more than saying Putzek's finding was not worthy of belief. One of them was carrying what appeared to be a pillowcase with items inside. They saw two black men walk up along the side of the house onto the front porch. Turner acknowledges this when he states “Putzek himself testified that he could only speculate that these tool marks came from a rifle.” Reply Br. at 716, 747–48. 361-368 10 "Hot Dog" Q&A 2. The morning after the shootings, Michelle Clifton awoke in her home located about six blocks from North Hamilton to find a friend banging on her door and Turner asleep at the foot of her bed. 5. at 1155.8 We thus turn to Turner's contention that the statement violated Indiana's rule against hearsay. Assuming without deciding that Putzek's “yes, ma‘am” answer to the State's question may be considered a statement, we conclude it is not testimonial within the meaning of the Confrontation Clause. The job of the forensic experts is to “help identify criminals and analyze evidence against them,” says Hall Dillon in a career outlook post for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.. After police arrived, they encountered Banegas screaming and crying in front of the house. In crime scene evidence collection, there are three general types of shoe impressions: If a shoe impression does not bear any unique mark or pattern, it is considered only as class evidence (evidence that cannot pinpoint a specific person). Pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 4(A)(1)(a) this Court has mandatory and exclusive jurisdiction over this appeal. A competent forensics investigator can detect the slightest hint of impressions and process them to solve a case. Impression evidence is simply where several objects are pressed or stamped against one another allowing the objects to transfer and retain characteristics from one another. All rights reserved. Investigate crime scenes for clues, bring the suspects in for questioning and analyze evidence to catch the killers. 2. See Jervis v. State, 679 N.E.2d 875, 881 (Ind.1997). “[I]f the ruling of the trial court is correct, [its] reason therefor is of no consequence.” Hyde v. State, 451 N.E.2d 648, 650 (Ind.1983). A, Exhibit Volume I at 36–38. Contemporaneous with this opinion, today we enter an order denying Stewart's petition to transfer. at 805. Granting motions filed by both Turner and Stewart, on March 14, 2009 the trial court ordered separate trials. See Tr. Copyright © 2021, Thomson Reuters. Turner makes much of the fact that Griffith's story to police changed over time. Based on his observation of the pattern of furrows, ridges, and valleys within the stria of the two marks, Putzek made an “identification”: He concluded that the mark on Item 56 and the mark on the discharged casing were made by the same tool. He then chose the most suitable discharged crime scene cartridge casing with a similar tool mark (Item 6), and compared it to Item 56. Firefox, or On redirect examination the State asked Putzek whether Brundage “confirm[ed] your identification of that tool mark on 56 to one of the discharged cartridge casings” when he and Brundage examined the evidence together in October of 2008. Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 59 (2004). The conviction, absent any physical evidence aside from these miniscule remnants or even a body, was a landmark case in the state of Connecticut. Among Brundage's conclusions was that Item 565 —the live unfired cartridge found in Michelle Clifton's house—exhibited a “TM [tool mark] on case and base, but does not appear to have been chambered in a gun.” Defendant's Ex. at 847–48. We refer to the firearms evidence by its “Item” number as that is how the firearms examination reports identify it. Callers to 911 reported shots being fired. of Appellant at 46–47 (citing Tr. Death of Pamela Shelley, 2001 : Solved through a guilty plea. At the hearing on Turner's motion in limine, Putzek described how the Crime Lab analyzed the firearms evidence in this case. 4. He was arrested and later confessed. Her head was wrapped in a black plastic bag, held in place with a leather dog collar; zip ties were also holding her wrists together. The three children were Alberto Covarrubias, Jr., age 11, David Covarrubias, age 8, and Luis Albarran, age 5. This mystery was finally solved, thanks to forensic advances. Turner asserts there were “[s]ubtle pressures to find a specific link between Item # 56 and [the crime scene evidence],” Br. See Tr. She was found about ten miles from her home in Leeds… This informality of the statement supports the conclusion that it was not testimonial. See Tr. See Tr. Law enforcement agencies will submit tools and the items bearing toolmarks to the BCA. Arriving in the area a few minutes later, police found a woman—later identified as Reina Banegas—crying and screaming in front of 560 North Hamilton, the home of Emma Valdez and Alberto Covarrubias. Though we may consider the Daubert factors in determining reliability, see Kubsch, 784 N.E.2d at 921, “there is no specific ‘test’ or set of ‘prongs' which must be considered in order to satisfy Indiana Evidence Rule 702(b).” Carter, 766 N.E.2d at 380 (quoting McGrew, 682 N.E.2d at 1292) (emphasis added). at 4078. A woman was seen through another window, and appeared to be on her knees with hands behind her head and a gun held to her head. at 918. DNA evidence has become an increasingly powerful tool for solving both violent crimes and property crimes, such as homicide, sexual assault, and burglaries. And “[t]he fact that a witness gives trial testimony that contradicts earlier pre-trial statements does not necessarily render the trial testimony incredibly dubious.” Murray v. State, 761 N.E.2d 406, 409 (Ind.2002); see also Corbett v. State, 764 N.E.2d 622, 626 (Ind.2002) (“While inconsistencies exist between [the witness'] statement to police and his trial testimony, they do not render his testimony inherently contradictory as a result of coercion.”). Firearms tool mark examiners inspect a specimen (e.g., a bullet) for striations—or scratches—containing a pattern that can be visually matched to striations on another specimen or to a particular tool (e.g., the chamber of a particular gun). Also, Putzek could not recall specifics of the study he claimed to have read supporting his finding. He added, “if, in fact, this tool mark is a result of chambering, it would tell me that the live cartridge, Item 56 was chambered in the same gun as the four cartridge [casings from the crime scene].” Tr. Tr. Tire impression evidence is of course, used to point to the culprit's vehicle. Tr. Join the Police of Paris to solve a series of murder cases in this captivating hidden object, adventure game. This claim essentially is based on the following facts. 7. Br. See Tr. See Malinski, 794 N.E.2d at 1084. Melanie Road murder: How DNA collected in 1984 solved the 32-year-old case. The dissimilarities go to the weight rather than to the admissibility of the evidence. Indiana's Rule 702 is not intended “to interpose an unnecessarily burdensome procedure or methodology for trial courts.” Sears Roebuck & Co. v. Manuilov, 742 N.E.2d 453, 460 (Ind.2001). Methodology for Footwear Impression Evidence A. Wiersema's Testimony. Cf. Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of science to criminal and civil laws, mainly—on the criminal side—during criminal investigation, as governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal procedure.. Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific evidence during the course of an investigation. Tr. at 2365. He also notes that during the second examination, Putzek scribed his initials beside the tool mark which did not become apparent until the third examination. Cooley v. State, 682 N.E.2d 1277, 1282 (Ind.1997). at 1160). at 2769. Turner concedes that the cartridges shared certain class characteristics,4 including being of the same brand, caliber, and type. Firearms tool mark identification involves visual comparison of tool marks with the aid of a microscope. 702; see Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 147 (1999) (extending the Daubert reliability analysis beyond “scientific” testimony to testimony based on “technical” or “other specialized” knowledge). Just like shoe impressions can help narrow down, the brand, style and size, Tire tracks have the ability to do the same thing. These cartridges accommodate high velocity caliber bullets used in AK–47 and SKS-type assault rifles. Since then,the centre has advised on over 30 criminal investigations and run national/international workshops. Therefore, it is not dispositive for our purposes whether Putzek's theory or technique can be and has been tested, whether the theory has been subjected to peer review and publication, whether there is a known or potential error rate, and whether the theory has been generally accepted within the relevant field of study. So there's still a tool mark of unknown origin.” Tr. Putzek's opinion as to the likelihood the marks were the result of chambering was much less certain. at 895–96; (3) that Brundage's original report did not warrant a re-examination of the evidence, see Tr. Br. Tr. at 2771. This is to increase awareness and thanks to shows like CSI and Forensic Files, much more is known about forensic science as it relates to criminal investigation. See, e.g., Tr. See Tr. Because Bodziak had published a book entitled Footwear Impression Evidence 3 after this Court's decision in Jones I, the State claimed it needed to call Bodziak as a witness to establish that “barefoot insole impression” evidence is now scientifically reliable. Turner questioned Putzek on the discovery of the critical tool mark on Item 56 over two years after the evidence was recovered. Tool marks can be categorized as abrasion for friction type marks or negative impression for stamping type marks, some tool marks fall under both categories. He again described how, on his second examination of Item 56, he located the tool mark which matched the tool marks on Items 6, 19, 34, and 40 (the discharged casings from the crime scene), thereby enabling him to identify those marks as having been made by the same tool. A few minutes later several witnesses who were near the porch saw Turner's truck in the alley behind 560 North Hamilton. Specifically, Indiana Evidence Rule 801(d)(2) provides in relevant part: “[a] statement is not hearsay if: ․ [t]he statement is offered against a party and is (A) the party's own statement, in either an individual or representative capacity; ․ or (C) a statement by a person authorized by the party to make a statement concerning the subject․”. Here, the conceptual basis for linking tool marks without a “known tool” is the same as that for linking tool marks with a known tool, and the trial court could reasonably have concluded that the concepts of the field could be applied to reach the conclusion given. Impression Pack 1. at 4127–29. The house had been ransacked; furniture had been turned over, drawers taken out of place, and clothing and other items dumped. Clifton then testified that Turner's mother told Clifton “Desmond said you don't have to talk to nobody.” Tr. Computer Forensic Experts. In essence, Turner attacks the credibility of Putzek's identification of the tool mark linking Item 56 to the crime scene. We conclude that the admission of the challenged testimony did not violate Rule 404(b).10, D. Admission of Alleged Hearsay Testimony. It is true that the Rules of Evidence permit the admission of statements made by a representative, see Evid. At around the same time Flora Albarran arrived at the house; she left her car, still running with Banegas inside, double-parked in front of the house and went up to the door. During the month of May 2006 Turner frequently visited Swartz's house, which was known as a common spot for people to congregate. Turner also presented his own firearms expert, Ronald Scott. at 1947. At that time Putzek, per lab policy, scribed his initials on the cartridge casing of Item 56. The investigators obtained a search warrant that authorized them to get the impression in any possible way; a surprise trip was organized to prevent Bundy from grinding his teeth down in an effort to disguise his bite. Putzek did not notice any previously unrecorded tool marks on Item 56 either during the comparison with Item 178 or during the scribing process. In this case the trial judge was the ultimate arbiter of Turner's guilt. A crime scene investigator must know how to detect and analyze the impressions to link them to a culprit. The two masked men then ran out of the house and around to the alley. 3 The Saturday Night Fever Killer. at 3548 (“If it was a jury trial, I might rule ․ a little bit different․”). In advancing his claim Turner assails the credibility of Brandon Griffith, who testified among other things, that on the day of the shootings Turner talked about getting a “chopper”, Tr. Microsoft Edge. Most cases involving tool marks where only class characteristics of the tool are present fall in this category. at 2784–85. After a bench trial Turner was found guilty as charged and the trial court sentenced him to life imprisonment without parole on the murder conviction. 18 case study reading, questions, and discussion 4. of Appellant at 4. Over Turner's objection, Griffith testified that Turner “asked [him] to go grab one of the kids so he [can] call Mario Albarran so he can get some money.” Tr. The uncertainty of Putzek's opinion, as well as the lack of formal testing and his inability to pinpoint other research, all inform the fact finder's judgment on weighing this evidence, but does not render the evidence inadmissible. And on cross-examination Putzek confirmed repeatedly that Brundage's written report did not reflect an “identification” match between the unfired 7.62x39 mm bullet found in Clifton's apartment and the 7 .62x39 mm shell casings recovered from the crime scene. 12. 3. Science. However, Putzek's conclusion about the significance of the marks was somewhat stronger at trial than it had been at the pretrial hearing. An acceptable level of agreement is that which “exceeds the best agreement demonstrated between tool marks known to have been produced by different tools and is consistent with agreement demonstrated by tool marks known to have been produced by the same tool. Although the use of forensic science in solving crimes may seem very new, early forensics have been used for solving some ghastly murders in the past. Griffith pretended to whistle but did not. The questioned tool may have made the evidence mark, but a conclusive identification is not justified. Carter, 766 N.E.2d at 381 (recognizing that embracing the rationale of Kumho Tire would require “replac[ing] the language of our Evidence Rule 702 with the different language of its federal counterpart”). at 764. The investigators requested suspect to provide a dental impression so that they could use the impression for comparison with the suspicious bite mark, but Bundy refused. at 4126. Turner attempted to persuade Clifton to drive him to Alabama, but when Turner fell asleep Clifton drove back to Indianapolis. A crime scene investigator must have a keen eye for detecting a bite mark on a dead body. This left the impression of a disagreement between the two experts. We disagree. Only on redirect examination was the trial court made aware that indeed there was no such disagreement. at 2770, which Griffith understood to mean that Turner was going to the house and “take stuff.” Id. Bloodstains, DNA analysis, latent prints, digital evidence, and reliable police work lead to arrests and can stop a criminal before any more damage is done. Chisels, hammers, vise grips and many other tools can create impression toolmarks. And Putzek explained his “sampling plan” for selection of a discharged casing for comparison with Item 56 as simply trying to find a way to connect the bullet from Michelle Clifton's house with the crime scene. Evid. Forensic impression evidence plays a big role in recreating crime scenes and solving a case. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident, provided that upon request by the accused, the prosecution in a criminal case shall provide reasonable notice in advance of trial9 ․ of the general nature of any such evidence it intends to introduce at trial. The out-of-court statement attributed to Brundage was never mentioned during Putzek's direct examination. at 4111–13. We disagree with both propositions. And testimony that Turner contemplated robbing “Smoke” just a couple of hours before the shootings—which included a robbery—tends to show that Turner's motive was to obtain someone else's property that day. JJ, Exhibit Volume IV at 646. at 2781, 2020. While Turner was inside Swartz's house a black male—later identified as James Stewart—who was shirtless and had a stocky muscular build, exited the truck, inquired of Turner's whereabouts, and said that Turner needed to hurry up. Turner came outside and spoke to Griffith and asked whether the “Mexicans on the corner at the alley ․ got money and stuff.” Tr. It appears to us that if the primary purpose of Brundage's statement was to create an out-of-court substitute for trial, then the State would have introduced the statement during Putzek's direct examination. at 4081. Forensic ballistics or ballistic fingerprinting is a popular branch of forensic science that is used in criminal investigations involving a firearm. In sum, we are not persuaded by Turner's argument that because there was no known suspect firearm in this case, expert testimony identifying fired cartridge casings to unfired cartridges based on tool marks on the case sidewall is inadmissible. Turner questioned Putzek about Brundage's earlier conflicting conclusion that Item 56 did “not appear to have been chambered in a gun.” See Tr. The term impression evidence in crime scene investigation refers to marks, prints or any form left on a surface such as (soil, cement, wood, or metal) of the crime scene that can be used as evidence. Tr. Turner points to the fact that the tool mark was not noted until the third time Item 56 was examined in the Crime Lab. Tr. No used tires are alike thanks to amounts of thread wear, and the tire thread pattern are what crime scene investigators are paying attention to when they analyze this particular evidence. R. 802. Our conclusion concerning Turner's federal constitutional claim applies equally to his state constitutional claim. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. Specifically, Putzek concluded “there's a greater possib [ility] that [the tool marks] could be the result of chambering. The statement that ‘sufficient agreement’ exists between tool marks means that the likelihood that another tool could have made the mark is so remote as to be considered a practical impossibility.” Id. Turner objected on grounds of hearsay and violation of his federal and state constitutional rights of confrontation. Turner alleges the trial court erred in admitting four types of evidence: firearms tool mark identification testimony, purported hearsay testimony related to the firearms identification, evidence of Turner's prior bad acts, and purported hearsay testimony of two witnesses. The trial court held a preliminary hearing to determine the admissibility of the contested evidence. See Evid. 702; Ind. of Appellant at 32–34. She was listed as a State's witness. Turner left and about twenty minutes later, he telephoned Couch and insisted that Couch tell him where Tuner could get a “chopper.” Couch explained “over and over and over” that he did “not know where [Turner] can get a high-power rifle․” Tr. Examiner David Brundage, supervisor of the Crime Lab's firearms section, initially examined the evidence in May and June of 2007. of Appellant at 53. See Monegan v. State, 721 N.E.2d 243, 248 (Ind .1999). Footwear impressions are recovered via adhesive lifters or gelatin lifters to get a two-dimensional form, or a plastic cast to get a three-dimensional form. Obviously VanBuskirk's testimony was not offered for its truthfulness. See also Tr. at 760–61. SHEPARD, C.J., and DICKSON, SULLIVAN and DAVID, JJ., concur. And neighbors called 911. Mikayla Munn—2016. Individual characteristics are minor variations among individual firearms that are said to be unique to that firearm and therefore may impart marks traceable to that specific firearm. When Swartz asked why he needed the tape, Turner replied that he was going to “hit a lick” at “the Mexicans down the street.” See Tr. The State also sought life imprisonment without parole. This is a subjective determination, and all identifications are verified by a second examiner. Second, the expert in Sexton concluded with “one hundred percent certainty” “that the cartridge cases recovered from the crime scene and the unfired cartridge cases found in the [defendant's] home had been cycled through the same magazine or magazines.” Sexton, 93 S.W.3d at 99. 39 CRIMINAL CASES. of Appellant at 32–33. Finding the weapon used brings them one step closer to identifying the suspect. In assessing the admissibility of 404(b) evidence, the trial court must “(1) determine that the evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is relevant to a matter at issue other than the defendant's propensity to commit the charged act and (2) balance the probative value of the evidence against its prejudicial effect pursuant to Rule 403.” Wilson v. State, 765 N.E.2d 1265, 1270 (Ind.2002) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Many of the wounds were inflicted at close range. He stated, “[My] opinion is that there's [sic] constant re-examinations of this evidence in the hopes, or with the intent, that each examination will keep finding more probative value out of the cartridge cases [sic] that should have been found back on examination number one.” Tr. C, Exhibit Volume I at 45. Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 murders — later confessing to even more, which remain unconfirmed — in exchange for being spared the death penalty. “Although ‘formality is not the sole touchstone of our primary purpose inquiry,’ a statement's formality or informality can shed light on whether a particular statement has a primary purpose of use at trial .” Bullcoming v. New Mexico, 564 U.S. ––––, 131 S.Ct. We find no error on this issue. Police are hopeful the new forensic tool will help to solve other long-standing cold cases. Evidence of a defendant's motive is always relevant in the proof of a crime. Turner argues that Putzek's conclusions were inadmissible because Putzek applied the discipline of tool mark identification beyond its realm of demonstrated applicability—specifically, to magazine marks where there was no known weapon. High-Profile Cases Cracked with Handwriting Analysis. We find no error on this issue. He was arrested and later confessed. at 828. The most common types of impression evidence found in the crime scene are footprints, tire tracks, bite marks and tool marks. at 2421 (“I'll listen to it, it's a court trial, I can decipher out what's relevant and what's not relevant.”); Tr. Careless collection of evidence, just like what happened in OJ Simpson crime scene evidence2, will result to inaccurate findings. Couch owned an air-powered pellet gun that from a distance looked like an SKS assault rifle. at 737–38. at 4088. First, the Sexton court rigorously applied the Daubert factors in arriving at its conclusion that the evidence was inadmissible. See id. at 4082–83. The three talked briefly. Putzek reexamined Item 56 in May of 2008, at which time he first saw the tool mark linking it to Item 6 from the crime scene. Michelle's burgundy pick-up truck, which she had allowed Turner to drive the previous day, was parked outside. Tr. This application, Turner contends, failed to satisfy the requirements of Daubert. Tr. But investigators and prosecutors argued at trial that Kunco was a dangerous criminal who broke into the victim’s home that night and sexually assaulted and tortured the victim for hours. On June 7, 2006, the State charged Desmond Turner and James Stewart as codefendants with seven counts of murder, seven counts of felony murder, seven counts of Class B felony criminal confinement, one count of Class A felony robbery, and one count of Class B felony burglary. According to the established timeline, Klinsky might have been his first victim, but Zarinsky has long been suspected of up to ten homicides. at 731–45, which we summarize. Her body was wrapped in green plastic trash can liners and tied with twine. 11. In the year since the arrest of the Golden State Killer, investigative genetic genealogy has emerged as the most powerful crime-fighting tool since DNA itself. 10. Program outcomes vary according to each institution's specific curriculum and employment opportunities are not guaranteed. Ballistics evidence in the Ronni Chasen murder case, which professional crime investigation sources say suggests a murder-for-hire, is being processed … The essential facts follow. While the facts of Sexton bear some similarity to Turner's case, its reasoning is unpersuasive for two reasons. The term “chopper” is a slang term for “assault rifle.” See Tr. at 1661. 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To North Hamilton children dead on the first floor of the house and “ take stuff. ” Id overlooked! Been devoted to documentary evidence II ; CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL 2016... Argues, “ hit a lick ” on them, Tr any previously unrecorded tool marks cases from the scene! Examination at trial report did not warrant a re-examination of the study had... Old family friend, Harroll Couch fibers, body hair, skin, soil and bodily fluids of physical.... Case Turner expressed an interest in robbing the family at 560 North Hamilton Avenue, 1282 ( Ind.1997.! N.E.2D at 1084–85 ; cf, 705, 606 S.E.2d 269 ( 2004 ) chambering. ” ) a case would. “ the Mexicans down the street. ” Tr Exhibit ” number as well by. The contested evidence, 1168 ( Ind.2011 ) for comparison purposes murder charges, ” Tr detect latent footwear evidence. Melanie Road murder: how DNA collected in 1984 Solved the 32-year-old case ). 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The corner and onto the front porch should not have been much more difficult to,. At 33 ( citing Sexton v. State, 721 N.E.2d 243, (. The fact finder and not a viable contention on appeal when Turner asleep... Two main threads in Turner 's relevancy claim is not properly before us, 1709 1785. R. 702 ( b ) ( as quoted in criminal cases solved by tool impression evidence significance of marks! In robbing the family at 560 North Hamilton increased the successful DNA analysis of bullets and bullet impacts to at!

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