Sunday, November 29, 2020

Colorado Theater Attack Lawyers Argue Fingerprints

Must read

Finding answers in blood-spatter patterns

Blood-spatter experts can see a story in a stain. Homicide detectives know too well the value of blood stain analysis. The pattern of a stain...

DNA Evidence: Measuring up to the Frye Standard of Acceptance

DNA-based evidence has a long history of admissibility in legal proceedings stretching back to 1985 when Sir Alec Jeffreys first used DNA testing to...

No drugs in dead sex worker’s body meaning she could have been the Long Island Serial Killer’s 11th victim

A long awaited autopsy on the body of a hooker whose 2010 disappearance and death exposed the Long Island serial killer's victims has revealed...

Video: Shining Light on the Evidence

The Smithsonian Channel series: Catching Killers have created an informative video to show how the Night Stalker investigation was blown wide open when - for the first time ever...
Michael Whyte
Crime Scene Officer and Fingerprint Expert with over 7 years experience in Crime Scene Investigation and Latent Print Analysis. The opinions or assertions contained on this site are the private views of the author and are not to be construed as those of any professional organisation or policing body.
- Forensic Podcast -

Crime analysts testified Monday about how they matched fingerprint evidence in the Colorado theater shooting investigation but provided little new information about the 2012 massacre that left 12 people dead and 70 wounded.

The primary purpose of the pretrial hearing was to determine whether testimony about fingerprint comparison should be allowed at the trial of James Holmes, who is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.

Fingerprints are not expected to play a major role in the trial, scheduled to start Dec. 8, but defense attorneys appear to be trying to weaken any aspect of the prosecution case.

Holmes’ attorneys have acknowledged he was the shooter but say he was in the midst of a psychotic episode at the time. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

FBI analyst Stacy Furman testified she matched Holmes’ fingerprints 121 times on evidence taken from his apartment, including on a gun manual.

Sandra Wiese, an analyst for the police in the Denver suburb of Aurora, where the shootings took place, said she identified some of the victims through fingerprints and checked other prints found in the theater.

Prosecutors asked them about a few specific prints and projected some on a TV screen. The images were meant to illustrate the comparison process, and there was no indication the prints shown would be part of the trial. Except for the fingerprint on the manual, the witnesses did not say where the prints were found.

Defense lawyers questioned the reliability of fingerprint comparison and repeatedly asked about the lack of mandatory nationwide standards for training.

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. did not say when he would rule.

Before the hearing, Samour rejected a defense effort to gain unspecified University of Colorado records for a potential trial witness. The nature of the records and the identity of the witness haven’t been released.

Holmes was a student in a doctoral neuroscience program at the University of Colorado, Denver but dropped out before the shootings.

By Dan Elliot Associated Press

- Advertisement -

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Trees and shrubs might reveal the location of decomposing bodies

Plants could help investigators find dead bodies. Botanists believe the sudden flush of nutrients into the soil from decomposition may affect nearby foliage. If...

Are Detectives discounting the associative value of fingerprints that fall short of an identification in their investigations?

Every day, Fingerprint Experts in every latent office across the globe examine fingermarks that they determine to fall short of an identification....

Using the NCIC Bayesian Network to improve your AFIS searches

This National Crime Information Centre (NCIC) Bayesian network is based on the statistical data of general patterns of fingerprints on the hands...

DNA decontamination of fingerprint brushes

Using fingerprint brushes across multiple crime scenes yields a high risk of DNA cross-contamination. Thankfully an Australian study has discovered a quick and easy way to safely decontaminate fingerprint brushes to prevent this contamination risk and allows the brushes to be safely reused even after multiple cleaning cycles.

Detection of latent fingerprint hidden beneath adhesive tape by optical coherence tomography

Adhesive tape is a common item which can be encountered in criminal cases involving rape, murder, kidnapping and explosives. It is often the case...