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March 25th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Timothy Sutcliffe (Cross Examination), Alicia Romero, Nancy Torres, Michelle Shelley, James Wittenbrock, and Robert Spinner (Direct Examination), Part 1 of 2

August 27, 2012

Det. Sutcliffe’s cross examination continued today, and Sanger continued his questioning of Sutcliffe about his fingerprint tests, and there wasn’t anything of any particular significance that I need to summarize, so I’ll move on to Auchincloss’s redirect-examination.

In this excerpt, Auchincloss attempted to diminish the impact of Sanger’s questioning of the difference in quality between a digital and film camera by asking Sutcliffe if he had spoken with the Spex Corporation (the company that produces the scenescope, which is used to look for fingerprints), and Sutcliffe answered that they recommended using lower resolution digital cameras to capture fingerprint images, which contradicted Sanger’s assertion that a film camera was more sufficient to capture fingerprints:

4 Q. Mr. Sanger asked you some questions

 

5 yesterday about the use of digital cameras with the

 

6 Scenescope.

 

7 A. Correct.

 

8 Q. And have you had a chance to do some

 

9 research on that topic as to whether or not a

 

10 digital camera is sufficient or adequate to use with

 

11 a Scenescope in capturing fingerprint images?

 

12 A. Yes, I have.

 

13 Q. What did you do?

 

14 A. I contacted the Spex Corporation this

 

15 morning and talked with a representative there.

 

16 Q. Have you — did you find out whether or not

 

17 Spex Corporation actually offers their Scenescope

 

18 with a digital camera, as you mentioned you believe

 

19 it did yesterday?

 

20 A. Yes, they do.

 

21 MR. SANGER: Objection. Asked and answered;

 

22 and also for hearsay, for that matter.

 

23 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: It goes to — it’s expert

 

24 testimony, Your Honor.

 

25 THE COURT: Hearsay; sustained.

 

26 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Do you know, based upon

 

27 your training, education, and experience, including

 

28 any training you’ve received from the Scenescope 3550

 

1 Corporation, as to whether or not a digital camera

 

2 is sufficient to capture fingerprint images using a

 

3 Scenescope?

 

4 MR. SANGER: Objection. That calls for

 

5 hearsay; and it’s also vague.

 

6 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

7 You may answer that question.

 

8 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.

 

9 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: And do you know if a

 

10 four-megapixel camera is sufficient, pursuant to

 

11 Scenescope recommendations, to capture such images?

 

12 A. Yes. And actually, they had offered

 

13 originally a three-megapixel —

 

14 MR. SANGER: Move to strike after the

 

15 answer, “Yes.”

 

16 THE COURT: Stricken.

 

17 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Do you know if

 

18 Scenescope has even recommended a lesser resolution

 

19 camera, such as a three-megapixel camera, to capture

 

20 fingerprint images?

 

21 A. Yes, they do.

 

22 MR. SANGER: Objection; calls for hearsay.

 

23 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: It’s his training.

 

24 THE COURT: Sustained.

 

25 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: When you use the

 

26 digital camera, what — does the camera itself have

 

27 different levels of resolution that you can set the

 

28 camera to? 3551

 

1 A. Yes.

 

2 Q. And what level of resolution do you use on

 

3 this four-megapixel camera?

 

4 A. We use JPEG, the highest resolution, lowest

 

5 compression.

 

6 Q. Okay. And does that capture the clearest

 

7 images?

 

8 A. Yes, in JPEG format.

Sanger recross-examined Det. Sutcliffe, and questioned him on a misattribution of a particular fingerprint, and during his testimony Det. Sutcliffe confirmed that when there are two prints on a page, you cannot tell the age of the fingerprints, or if one was laid down before the other. This testimony was crucial for the defense, because it showed the jury that just because Jackson’s and Star and Gavin’s fingerprints were all on the same magazine, it doesn’t meant that Jackson showed them the magazine):

3 RECROSS-EXAMINATION

 

4 BY MR. SANGER:

 

5 Q. Do you have 741 in front of you, Exhibit

 

6 741?

 

7 A. Is that —

 

8 MR. SANGER: May I approach, Your Honor?

 

9 THE COURT: Yes.

 

10 MR. SANGER: If I can assist.

 

11 Q. That is 741.

 

12 A. Thank you.

 

13 Q. Exhibit 741 you have now identified as

 

14 relating to a particular page in the book that was

 

15 just marked for identification, correct?

 

16 A. Correct.

 

17 Q. Now, that was originally attributed to a

 

18 totally different magazine, a different exhibit, was

 

19 it not?

 

20 A. Correct. That placard number belonged to

 

21 321-D, which was a “Hawk” magazine.

 

22 Q. Okay. And did you confer with Detective

 

23 Spinner about the misidentification of that

 

24 particular — the location of that particular print?

 

25 A. I conferred with him about the misleading of

 

26 the binders, yes.

 

27 Q. So there was a misattribution, in your

 

28 opinion at this time, of that print to, in essence, 3557

 

1 the wrong magazine?

 

2 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll object as vague as to

 

3 “misattribution.”

 

4 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

5 THE WITNESS: I don’t know what that means.

 

6 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Okay. That’s a good point.

 

7 When your team — when the fingerprint team

 

8 was working on this, that particular print was

 

9 originally identified to – I want to get the right

 

10 number here – 321-D, correct?

 

11 A. That’s correct.

 

12 Q. And 321-D — I’m sorry?

 

13 A. I was going to say that was based on us

 

14 receiving the binder with the label, and when we

15 opened the binder, we went to work on that

 

16 particular magazine, which was “Finally Legal.”

 

17 Q. Okay. The binder was labeled as 321-D?

 

18 A. Mislabeled.

 

19 Q. All right. We’ll get to misattribution

 

20 anytime now.

 

21 All right. The binder was mislabeled as

 

22 321-D, correct?

 

23 A. And that was the only identifier on the

 

24 binder.

 

25 Q. Okay. So there was no other way to

 

26 establish, as you look at it, as to what exhibit

 

27 that actually was?

 

28 A. Correct. 3558

 

1 Q. And you would agree, based on your training

 

2 and experience, that it’s important to try to label

 

3 all these things carefully so that ultimately, if

 

4 you’re called to testify in court, you can get it

 

5 right?

 

6 A. Absolutely.

 

7 Q. Okay. And eventually it was determined, you

 

8 believe at this time, that that print really came

 

9 off a different magazine?

 

10 A. Oh, I know it did.

 

11 Q. Okay. That’s your testimony at this point.

 

12 A. Correct.

 

13 Q. All right. And by the way, the fingerprints

 

14 that you lifted, do you have any way to determine

 

15 the age of the fingerprints?

 

16 A. No.

 

17 Q. So you can’t tell if one was laid down

 

18 before another, correct?

 

19 A. Correct.

 

20 Q. And you can’t tell, just even in general,

 

21 other than, for instance, looking at the date of a

 

22 magazine or something like that, you can’t tell

 

23 scientifically when a particular print was placed

 

24 there?

 

25 A. Correct.

Under further redirect examination, Det. Sutcliffe was asked by Auchincloss to clarify his earlier statement about the misattribution of a fingerprint that he described earlier in his testimony:

19 FURTHER REDIRECT EXAMINATION

 

20 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:

 

21 Q. Detective, is this the fingerprint that

 

22 counsel just questioned you about?

 

23 A. Yes, it is.

 

24 Q. And I believe I questioned you about it,

 

25 that there was an error on that fingerprint because

 

26 it said 3 — it says “321-D”?

 

27 A. That’s correct.

 

28 Q. And you said that’s incorrect? 3561

 

1 A. That is.

 

2 MR. SANGER: Objection. Leading; calling

 

3 for recitation of prior testimony.

 

4 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

5 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: And in fact, that is

 

6 321-F?

 

7 A. That’s correct.

 

8 MR. SANGER: That’s leading, Your Honor.

 

9 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: It’s restating his

 

10 testimony, it’s not —

 

11 MR. SANGER: Object to speaking —

 

12 THE COURT: It is leading. I’ll sustain the

 

13 objection.

 

14 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay.

 

15 Q. What is the accurate letter for that

 

16 particular item number?

 

17 A. The item number is 321-F.

 

18 Q. And you said you were certain that that item

 

19 number is 321-F?

 

20 A. That is correct.

 

21 MR. SANGER: Objection; leading.

 

22 THE COURT: Sustained.

 

23 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Are you certain that

 

24 that is Item 321-F?

 

25 A. Yes, I am.

 

26 Q. Why?

 

27 A. A couple of things. One, when we received

 

28 the magazine, and when we were doing our report at 3562

 

1 the time we were processing the magazine, we were

 

2 processing “Finally Legal.” That was the magazine.

 

3 Subsequently, when we noticed that the tags had been

 

4 switched, we noticed that 321-D was actually

 

5 associated with the “Hawk” magazine.

 

6 Q. Does the circle that you identified that

 

7 particular fingerprint with have any similarities to

 

8 the circle to the right that appears in the image?

 

9 A. Yes, it does.

 

10 Q. How so?

 

11 A. You can see that the — at the edge of the

 

12 ruler up in the upper right-hand corner of the

 

13 photograph is the number “1,” and that is also

 

14 illustrated on the actual photograph of the page.

 

15 Q. All right. So — Detective, I show you

 

16 Exhibit No. 559. It appears to be Item 321-F. Is

 

17 that the magazine that that fingerprint came from?

 

18 A. Yes, it is.

 

19 Q. And is there any indication or mark on this

 

20 magazine that tells you that this magazine is, in

 

21 fact, 321-F?

 

22 A. On the back page of the magazine there

 

23 should be a number in the bottom right-hand corner,

 

24 and it was identified as 321-F, and that was placed

 

25 there when they were first being separated.

 

26 Q. All right. Thank you, Detective. I have no

27 further questions.

Finally, Sanger brings Sutcliffe’s testimony to an end by asking him about the unprofessionalism that was exhibited by the Santa Barbara sheriff’s by their mishandling of the fingerprint evidence, specifically the switching of the tags of the fingerprints on the magazines, and Sutcliff testified that it should not have happened:

1 FURTHER RECROSS-EXAMINATION

 

2 BY MR. SANGER:

 

3 Q. Never trust a lawyer who says there’s only a

 

4 few questions. That’s why we started 35 minutes

 

5 ago.

 

6 You are in the Santa Barbara County

 

7 Sheriff’s Department, and you are a deputy sheriff;

 

8 is that correct?

 

9 A. That’s correct.

 

10 Q. And you worked as a deputy sheriff before

 

11 moving into the Forensics Bureau, correct?

 

12 A. That’s correct.

 

13 Q. And you went to the academy?

 

14 A. Correct.

 

15 Q. Which academy?

 

16 A. Ventura Academy.

 

17 Q. And that’s a POST, P-O-S-T, certified

 

18 academy, correct?

 

19 A. That’s correct.

 

20 Q. And in the academy, you studied the need to

 

21 be very accurate in recording material in police

 

22 reports and elsewhere for the purpose of

 

23 investigations, correct?

 

24 A. Absolutely.

 

25 Q. And the purpose of recording material

 

26 accurately is so that later, when speaking to other

 

27 officers or to counsel, or testifying in court, you

 

28 can present accurate testimony in a case; is that 3564

 

1 correct?

 

2 A. That’s correct.

 

3 Q. You then moved to the Forensics Bureau of

 

4 the sheriff’s department; is that right?

 

5 A. Correct.

 

6 Q. And the Forensics Bureau is, in essence, a

 

7 part of the sheriff’s department that deals

 

8 specifically with evidence, sometimes the scientific

 

9 processing of evidence; is that correct?

 

10 A. That’s correct.

 

11 Q. And in the course of your training to become

 

12 a member of the Forensics Bureau, was it emphasized

 

13 that it is extremely important to make sure that all

 

14 of the evidence tags and paperwork and everything

 

15 else is extremely accurate?

 

16 A. Absolutely.

 

17 Q. All right. So based on your training and

 

18 experience, this was not correct police procedure to

 

19 have this exhibit mislabeled in this case; is that

 

20 correct?

 

21 A. It should not have been mislabeled, that’s

 

22 correct.

 

23 Q. And tags should not be switched; is that

 

24 correct? I think those are your words, “the tags

 

25 were switched”?

 

26 A. Yes, meaning not purposely, but accidentally

 

27 switched.

 

28 Q. Well, tags should not be switched, correct? 3565

 

1 A. Correct.

 

2 Q. All right. And you caught this particular

 

3 one, right?

 

4 A. That was the only one.

 

5 Q. That’s the only one you caught?

 

6 A. We checked them all.

 

7 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; argumentative.

 

8 Q. BY MR. SANGER: You went back and you

 

9 checked them all?

 

10 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: There’s an objection.

 

11 THE COURT: Just a moment.

 

12 It’s overruled. The answer was, “We checked

 

13 them all.” Next question.

 

14 Q. BY MR. SANGER: “Checked them all” meaning

 

15 all the fingerprints?

 

16 A. Checked every magazine to make sure it was

 

17 properly labeled.

 

18 Q. I’m sorry, I meant all the materials that

 

19 you had for the fingerprints.

 

20 A. Correct.

 

21 Q. Were you aware of any other tags falling off

 

22 in this particular investigation?

 

23 A. Not to my knowledge.

 

24 MR. SANGER: Okay. Thank you. No further

 

25 questions.

 

26 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: No further questions.

 

27 THE COURT: Thank you. You may step down.

The next prosecution witness was Alicia Romero, an employee of the Santa Barbara Superior Court. She is responsible for supervising courtroom clerks in the both criminal and civil court, as well as supervising exhibits. She was called to testify by the prosecution due to her handling of the exhibits for the Superior Court during the grand jury proceeding in March and April 2004. After the grand jury handed down their indictment of Jackson, Romero took possession of the exhibits and stored them in a vault.

In this excerpt, she describes in detail how she handled the exhibits from the grand jury proceeding:

24 Q. Okay. That’s where we’re going next.

 

25 When the grand jury exhibits came to you,

 

26 what did you first do with them?

 

27 A. Since it was after hours, we received them,

 

28 and I locked them right away in the exhibit room, 3569

 

1 which has a vault that — it’s real thick, with a

 

2 combination lock, until the next morning.

 

3 Q. Okay. Did you conduct an inventory on the

 

4 exhibits after that?

 

5 A. First thing the next morning.

 

6 Q. Okay. And you made sure that all the

 

7 exhibits that had been entered into the grand jury

 

8 were accounted for in your vault, correct?

 

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. Okay. And is that part of your official

 

11 function?

 

12 A. On grand jury exhibits, there’s times where

 

13 I would get orders from Gary Blair to handle them

 

14 myself.

 

15 Q. Okay. And in this particular case you were

 

16 ordered by Gary Blair?

 

17 A. Correct.

 

18 Q. Did anybody have access to the grand jury

 

19 exhibits that were lodged with you?

 

20 A. The only other person would have been my

 

21 exhibit clerk at the time, but she was also informed

 

22 that anything to do with this grand jury exhibits,

 

23 that she was to contact me and I would handle it.

 

24 And I also had the — my other supervisor, Flota

 

25 Pritchard, in my absence, if it was an emergency

 

26 need, that she could have access to it also. Other

 

27 than that, it was just her and I that were to handle

 

28 them. 3570

 

1 Q. Do you know whether any emergencies came up

 

2 where somebody other than you had to get in there?

 

3 A. I believe —

 

4 MR. SANGER: Calls for hearsay, Your Honor.

 

5 THE COURT: Sustained.

 

6 Q. BY MR. NICOLA: Did you keep records of

 

7 every time that the grand jury exhibits were

 

8 accessed?

 

9 A. Yes, I did.

 

10 Q. And were those records kept within the scope

 

11 of your employment as a public employee?

 

12 A. Yes.

 

13 Q. And were you under a duty to record whenever

 

14 the grand jury exhibits were opened?

 

15 A. Yes.

 

16 Q. And if another clerk, another public

 

17 employee working for you, had access or needed

 

18 access to the grand jury exhibits, it was part of

 

19 your duty to record who entered the grand jury

 

20 exhibits?

 

21 A. Yes.

 

22 Q. And when?

 

23 A. Yes.

 

24 Q. And get some kind of identification from who

 

25 had access to the grand jury evidence?

 

26 A. Yes. Unless we knew who that person was.

 

27 Uh-huh.

Next, Nicola questioned Romero about Det. Craig Bonner’s interactions with the exhibit, which he had to photograph pursuant to a court order. Nicola made sure that Romero verified that he wore gloves and handled the exhibit with care:

17 Q. Okay. When is the next time somebody came

 

18 to view the grand jury exhibits, please?

 

19 A. July 20th, 2004.

 

20 Q. And that was Detective Craig Bonner?

 

21 A. Correct.

 

22 Q. Okay. And that was pursuant to a court

 

23 order as well, correct?

 

24 A. Correct.

 

25 Q. Now, was his role that day to take pictures

 

26 of certain items?

 

27 A. Yes.

 

28 Q. And that’s what the court order spelled out, 3573

 

1 correct?

 

2 A. Yes.

 

3 Q. And one of those items was Grand Jury

 

4 Exhibit No. 53?

 

5 A. Yes.

 

6 MR. NICOLA: May I approach the witness,

 

7 Your Honor?

 

8 THE COURT: Yes.

 

9 Q. BY MR. NICOLA: I’ve placed before you

 

10 Exhibit No. 470.

 

11 A. No. 470?

 

12 Q. When we do the trial, we renumber all the

 

13 exhibits.

 

14 A. Oh, okay.

 

15 Q. You’re looking at a grand jury exhibit

 

16 sticker on the back of that briefcase, are you not?

 

17 A. Yes, I am.

 

18 Q. Is that exhibit — Grand Jury Exhibit No.

 

19 53?

 

20 A. Yes, it is.

 

21 Q. Okay. Is that the exhibit that Detective

 

22 Bonner opened in your presence and took photographs

 

23 of everything that was in there?

 

24 A. Yes.

 

25 Q. Okay. And were you present with him at the

 

26 time that he did that?

 

27 A. Yes, the entire time.

 

28 Q. Did you ever leave grand jury evidence – 3574

 

1 for example, on the June 9th date, did you leave the

 

2 grand jury evidence unattended?

 

3 A. No.

 

4 Q. Okay. So you observed everything that would

 

5 happen with the exhibits?

 

6 A. Yes.

 

7 Q. And that’s how you were assured there would

 

8 be no tampering, correct?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 Q. Did you watch Detective Bonner remove the

 

11 contents of the briefcase and begin photographing

 

12 page for page?

 

13 A. Yes.

 

14 Q. And Detective Bonner was wearing gloves on

 

15 that occasion as well, correct?

 

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. When he was finished photodocumenting all

 

18 the contents of Grand Jury Exhibit 53, also known as

 

19 People’s Exhibit 470, did he replace all the items

 

20 in the same order that he removed them and close the

 

21 briefcase again?

 

22 MR. SANGER: Objection. Compound; and

 

23 leading.

 

24 MR. NICOLA: Should I rephrase?

 

25 THE COURT: Sustained.

 

26 Q. BY MR. NICOLA: Okay. When he finished

 

27 taking the pictures, he put it all back together

 

28 again? 3575

1 A. He placed them back in the suitcase.

 

2 Whether they were in the same order that they were

 

3 taken out, I do not know.

 

4 Q. So he may have shuffled them, as far as you

 

5 know?

 

6 A. Correct.

 

7 Q. Did he close the briefcase and hand it back

 

8 to you?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 Q. Did he examine other exhibits on that same

 

11 day?

 

12 A. Yes, he did.

 

13 Q. Okay. And did he, in your presence, take

 

14 care to handle only one exhibit at a time?

 

15 A. Yes.

 

16 Q. You made sure of that, I take it?

 

17 A. Yes.

 

18 Q. Okay. When Detective Bonner left, left from

 

19 taking pictures of the exhibits, where did Exhibit

 

20 No. 53, also known as Exhibit 470, the black

 

21 briefcase, where did that stay?

 

22 A. Once he left? It was given back to me and I

 

23 put it back in the vault.

In this excerpt, Romero describes how Jackson’s attorney Robert Sanger and an associate of his also examined the exhibits from the Grand Jury proceeding:

3 Q. Would you turn to your log of exhibits and

 

4 confirm for us whether somebody entered to view

 

5 exhibits on July 21st?

 

6 A. Yes.

 

7 Q. Who was there on July 21st?

 

8 A. Mr. Sanger and Stephen Dunkle.

 

9 Q. Stephen Dunkle would be the attorney who

 

10 first came to view?

 

11 A. Yes.

 

12 Q. And “Mr. Sanger” being Mr. Sanger seated to

 

13 my right?

 

14 A. Yes. Robert Sanger.

 

15 Q. And did they examine Exhibit No. 53 as well?

 

16 A. Yes.

 

17 Q. Did they do that in your presence?

 

18 A. Yes.

 

19 Q. Did they open it?

 

20 A. Yes.

 

21 Q. And do you recall whether they looked

 

22 through all the contents?

 

23 A. I do not recall if they looked through all

 

24 of it. I — I seem vaguely to remember that they

 

25 viewed some of it, and just saw that they were

 

26 magazines.

 

27 Q. Okay. When they were finished with Exhibit

 

28 No. 53, also known as People’s 470, the black 3577

 

1 briefcase —

 

2 A. Uh-huh.

 

3 Q. — what did you do with it?

 

4 A. After they finished viewing all the

 

5 exhibits, I put everything back in the vault.

The remainder of Romero’s direct examination involved the policies and procedures in place to verify the authenticity of any request to view and photograph evidence in storage.

Under cross-examination by Sanger, Romero was asked to confirm that Sanger and his associates followed proper procedures when handling the evidence, and that the evidence was examined by the defense after the grand jury had handed down their indictment:

1 CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

2 BY MR. SANGER:

 

3 Q. Miss Romero, how are you?

 

4 A. I’m fine.

 

5 Q. Okay. We let you talk today.

 

6 First of all, is there anything unusual

 

7 about a defense lawyer coming to — or a defense

 

8 lawyer and investigator coming to look at grand jury

 

9 exhibits?

 

10 A. No.

 

11 Q. And at the time that Mr. Dunkle from my

 

12 office came, and the one time that I came to look at

 

13 the grand jury exhibits, was the grand jury process

 

14 completed?

 

15 A. Yes.

 

16 Q. In other words, the grand jury had already

 

17 looked at everything, they’d returned their

 

18 Indictment, and you were now safekeeping the

 

19 exhibits?

 

20 A. Correct.

 

21 Q. All right. And in particular, we, that is,

 

22 the defense, who’se representing Mr. Jackson, had to

 

23 have a court order in order to look at the exhibits;

 

24 is that correct?

 

25 A. Right.

 

26 Q. When Mr. Dunkle and Ms. Cassel came — Miss

 

27 Cassel being an investigator and Mr. Dunkle being a

 

28 lawyer in my office. When they came, did they ask 3582

 

1 you if they could take photographs of the exhibits?

 

2 A. Yes, they did.

 

3 Q. And you told them that they could not; is

 

4 that correct?

 

5 A. Correct.

 

6 Q. So it was necessary for us to go back and

7 get a further court order in order to be allowed to

 

8 take photographs; is that correct?

 

9 A. Right.

 

10 Q. Now, you remember that Miss Watts came with

 

11 Mr. Dunkle on the third occasion, correct?

 

12 A. Correct.

 

13 Q. And at that time, had they received the

 

14 court order to allow photographs to be taken?

 

15 A. I have to check my notes here.

 

16 Q. Sure, take your time.

 

17 A. This was with Miss Watts, right? And —

 

18 Q. Yes. I’ll let you take a look. If it’s too

 

19 much trouble, I can ask you another question, which

 

20 is, did Miss Watts take photographs? Let me try

 

21 that.

 

22 A. Yes.

 

23 Q. All right. So I would assume that you would

 

24 not have allowed her to take the photographs unless

 

25 you had an order permitting that; is that correct?

 

26 A. Correct.

 

27 Q. And do you recall Miss Watts being an

 

28 investigator for our law firm? 3583

 

1 A. Yes.

 

2 Q. Okay. Now, in between Mr. Dunkle and I came

 

3 in and looked at the exhibits. At that time we were

 

4 still not allowed to take photographs; is that

 

5 correct?

 

6 A. Correct. I don’t seem to have an order

 

7 allowing you to take photos yet at that time.

 

8 Q. At that time?

 

9 A. When you came, uh-huh.

 

10 Q. All right. Now, just to do the whole thing

 

11 at once so we can break it down, during the time

 

12 that Mr. Dunkle was there from my office, the one

 

13 that I was there and the two investigators, in other

 

14 words, those three times, did all of the personnel

 

15 from my office, including myself, follow all of your

 

16 directions with regard to preserving and avoiding

 

17 any contamination of the evidence?

 

18 A. As I recall, yes.

 

19 Q. And you were sitting there at the table each

 

20 time taking the evidence out and allowing whoever it

 

21 was, whether it was me or any of the others, to look

 

22 at it, correct?

 

23 A. Correct.

 

24 Q. And none of us touched the evidence in any

 

25 way that you did not want us to do; is that correct?

 

26 A. Correct.

 

27 Q. All right. And by the time that we did

 

28 that, by the time these inspections by the defense 3584

 

1 occurred, were you told to wear gloves and to

 

2 preserve the evidence?

 

3 A. Yes, we were. From the very first visit,

 

4 Mr. Dunkle, and I think it was Cassel, were told to

 

5 wear gloves at all times.

 

6 Q. And we all complied with that, right?

 

7 A. Correct.

 

8 Q. All right. Now, prior to that, on the day

 

9 that you got the materials from the grand jury, my

 

10 understanding is all you did was take them in a box

 

11 or so?

 

12 A. Yes. Gary Blair and Christie Russell, that

 

13 was the courtroom clerk, brought them about almost

 

14 six o’clock that evening. And Christie and I, we

 

15 put it in the vault immediately.

 

16 Q. All right. Were anybody — was anybody

 

17 wearing gloves?

 

18 A. No.

 

19 Q. Okay. And after you put them in the vault,

 

20 you locked it up, and then you came back the next

 

21 day, correct?

 

22 A. First thing the next morning, yes.

 

23 Q. And who assisted you in inventorying the

 

24 material?

 

25 A. The courtroom clerk that took the

 

26 Indictment.

 

27 Q. And the courtroom clerk was?

 

28 A. Christie Russell. 3585

 

1 Q. So you and Miss Russell then took the boxes

 

2 out, and you went through each exhibit to catalog

 

3 and make sure it was all there; is that right?

 

4 A. Correct.

 

5 Q. And did you — did each of you wear gloves?

 

6 A. No, we did not.

 

7 Q. And you were not instructed by law

 

8 enforcement or other court personnel or anybody else

 

9 that you should wear gloves; is that correct?

 

10 A. Correct.

 

11 Q. Okay. Okay. Thank you. I have no further

 

12 questions.

 

13 MR. NICOLA: Just a few, please.

Nicola questioned Romero about whether it’s common procedure for law enforcement to direct courtroom clerks on the proper handling of evidence, in direct response to Sanger’s question about this issue in the previous recross-examination:

15 REDIRECT EXAMINATION

 

16 BY MR. NICOLA:

 

17 Q. Go ahead.

 

18 A. I’m doing my work. Okay.

 

19 Q. Essentially there was nothing improper in

 

20 the way that the exhibits were handled by other

 

21 parties in this case, correct?

 

22 A. Correct.

 

23 Q. Okay.

 

24 A. Correct.

 

25 Q. When you did your inventory of the exhibits

26 for the first time, did you open up item — Exhibit

 

27 No. 470, which is the black briefcase that you know

 

28 as Exhibit 53? 3586

 

1 A. Yes.

 

2 Q. Okay. And did you look at every single page

 

3 that was in there?

 

4 A. No, we did not.

 

5 Q. How did you handle that? Could you explain

 

6 that for the jury, please?

 

7 A. Okay. When we were inventorying, we had

 

8 this black suitcase. We have to account for every

 

9 exhibit, so when we got to the black suitcase, our

 

10 procedure is, “Is there anything in there that was

 

11 overlooked that we should make a note on the exhibit

 

12 card?”

 

13 So we looked in it, and all we saw was

 

14 magazines, and we just sort of like — I think it

 

15 was myself rather than Christie, we just sort of

 

16 moved it, just magazines, and then we just closed

 

17 it, but we didn’t touch all the exhibits.

 

18 Q. You don’t work for law enforcement, do you?

 

19 A. No, I don’t.

 

20 Q. And law enforcement doesn’t get to tell

 

21 court clerks what to do, right?

 

22 MR. SANGER: Objection; calls for

 

23 speculation.

 

24 THE COURT: Sustained.

 

25 MR. NICOLA: It’s rebuttal to his question.

 

26 I’ll rephrase it, Your Honor.

 

27 Q. When Mr. Sanger asked you whether you were

 

28 told what to do with the exhibits by law 3587

 

1 enforcement, is that a common procedure for you?

 

2 A. It wasn’t necessarily by law enforcement.

 

3 It was from Gary Blair.

 

4 Q. Okay. So my question is, does law

 

5 enforcement generally direct you how to handle

 

6 exhibits once they’re lodged with the Court?

 

7 A. No, they do not.

 

8 Q. They become court property at that point,

 

9 correct?

 

10 A. Correct.

 

11 MR. NICOLA: Okay. I have nothing further.

Sanger recross-examined Romero again just to have her confirm that law enforcement can indeed direct courtroom clerks to wear gloves and handle evidence with care if that evidence is considered worthy of being tested for fingerprints:

13 RECROSS-EXAMINATION

 

14 BY MR. SANGER:

 

15 Q. Okay. But law enforcement did tell you

 

16 that — after you had inventoried everything, at

 

17 some point before my office came to look at the

 

18 materials, somebody told you that everybody should

 

19 wear gloves when dealing with this material,

 

20 correct?

 

21 A. It was Gary Blair. And I believe Detective

 

22 Bonner at one time did mention, “You clerks” — I

 

23 mean, “You should really wear gloves when you’re

 

24 handling it.” It wasn’t an order. It was more like

 

25 a request.

 

26 Q. All right.

 

27 A. But I took my instructions from Gary Blair.

 

28 Q. Gary Blair is the court administrator? 3588

 

1 A. Yes, he is.

 

2 Q. So he would be your boss as it were?

 

3 A. Correct.

 

4 Q. When you say you don’t take direction from

 

5 law enforcement on handling exhibits — well, I

 

6 don’t know what you said, but let me — I don’t want

 

7 to put words in your mouth.

 

8 Let’s put it this way: The fact is, that

 

9 you’ve been a courtroom clerk in the past, correct?

 

10 A. Correct.

 

11 Q. And the fact is, if law enforcement is

 

12 handling something with gloves and they indicate

 

13 there may be some reason to check something for

 

14 fingerprints, you would act accordingly, correct?

 

15 A. Correct.

 

16 Q. Okay. So if law enforcement were to tell

 

17 you — if they had told you before you took

 

18 possession of these items that you shouldn’t go

 

19 through them because they may be checking them for

 

20 fingerprints, you would have honored that request,

 

21 right?

 

22 A. Yes, I would have.

 

23 Q. Okay. And that has happened before, has it

 

24 not?

 

25 A. Correct.

 

26 MR. SANGER: Okay. All right. Thank you.

 

27 No further questions.

 

28 MR. NICOLA: No redirect, Your Honor. 3589

 

1 THE COURT: All right. Thank you. You may

 

2 step down.

 

3 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

The next prosecution witness was Nancy Torres, an identification technician for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Forensics Unit. She was involved with testing the fingerprints that were found on the adult magazines at Neverland; here is an excerpt of her direct examination under Gordon Auchincloss:

22 DIRECT EXAMINATION

 

23 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:

 

24 Q. Good morning, Miss Torres.

 

25 A. Good morning.

 

26 Q. Who do you work for, please?

 

27 A. I work for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s

 

28 Department, Forensics Unit. 3590

 

1 Q. And what do you do for the Santa Barbara

 

2 Sheriff’s Forensic Unit?

 

3 A. I’m an identification technician in the

 

4 Forensics Unit.

 

5 Q. What is an identification technician?

6 A. We basically do the same thing as a

 

7 forensics detective. We go out to a crime scene and

 

8 process it. We also do fingerprint work.

 

9 Q. How long have you been an identification

 

10 technician?

 

11 A. I have been employed as an I.D. technician

 

12 for five years.

 

13 Q. Have you received any training that

 

14 qualifies you for that position?

 

15 A. Yes, I have gone to basic fingerprint

 

16 pattern-type recognition courses, latent print

 

17 comparison and techniques courses, as well as basic

 

18 forensic ridgeology courses. And I have a

 

19 bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry.

 

20 Q. Have you had some experience in the field

 

21 that has helped you learn your craft in fingerprint

 

22 identification procedures?

 

23 A. Yes. Every day we do fingerprint

 

24 comparisons.

 

25 Q. And what techniques are you familiar with in

 

26 terms of finding fingerprints?

 

27 A. Well, we use a lot of various chemical

 

28 techniques, and — as well as visual techniques that 3591

 

1 we use.

 

2 Q. Did you participate in the location of

 

3 fingerprints on a series of magazines for the case

 

4 of People v. Michael Jackson?

 

5 A. Yes, I did.

 

6 Q. I’d like to show you some exhibits at this

 

7 time, and begin by asking you, did you participate

 

8 in the procedure of attempting to locate prints on

 

9 these items with another I.D. technician?

 

10 A. Yes, I did.

 

11 Q. And who was that?

 

12 A. It was — my partner was Detective

 

13 Sutcliffe.

 

14 Q. Okay. And was he present with you during

 

15 the entire time that you did the examination of

 

16 these magazines?

 

17 A. Yes, he was.

 

18 Q. All right. Showing you People’s 725, Card

 

19 02, did you help in the processing of this

 

20 particular magazine?

 

21 A. Yes, I did.

 

22 Q. What was your duty on this magazine?

 

23 A. I helped with the ninhydrin processing

 

24 portion of it.

 

25 Q. Okay. Exhibit 726, 03, did you help process

 

26 this particular magazine?

 

27 A. Yes, I did.

 

28 Q. What was your duty or what did you do on 3592

 

1 this particular magazine?

 

2 A. I helped with the ninhydrin processing of

 

3 them.

I want to take a moment to show everyone just how desperate the prosecution was to prejudice the jury and embarrass Jackson: here is a list of all of the exhibits that were displayed in court during Torres’ testimony (and the people who testified after her), and just the sheer amount of adult materials that was trotted out in front of the jury for no apparent reason is just appalling!

1 E X H I B I T S

 

2 FOR IN

 

3 PLAINTIFF’S NO. DESCRIPTION I.D. EVID.

 

4 471 Photo of female image 3711

 

5 472 Photo of female image 3711

 

6 473 Photo of female image 3711

 

7 474 Photo of female image 3711

 

8 475 Photo of female image 3711

 

9 476 Hustler centerfold,

 

10 August 1992 3711

 

11 477 Playboy centerfold, Miss October 3711

 

12 478 Registration card for

 

13 briefcase 3711

 

14 479 Playboy centerfold, Miss November 3711

 

15 480 Playboy centerfold,

 

16 Miss March 3711

 

17 481 Hustler centerfold, June 1993 3711

 

18 482 Page 28 from “G-Spot”

 

19 article 3711

 

20 483 Playboy centerfold, unknown date 3711

 

21 484 Penthouse Page No. 153-154 3711

 

22 485 Centerfold, Miss May 3711

 

23 486 Penthouse, Page 8 3711

 

24 487 Penthouse centerfold 3711

 

25 488 Playboy centerfold 3711

 

26 489 Penthouse centerfold 3711

 

27 490 Penthouse, August 1991 3711

 

28 491 Penthouse centerfold 3711

 

1 E X H I B I T S

 

2 FOR IN PLAINTIFF’S NO. DESCRIPTION I.D. EVID.

 

3

 

4 492 Club International centerfold 3711

 

5 493 Penthouse, double page 6/211 3711

 

6 494 Penthouse centerfold 3711

 

7 495 Penthouse, May 1992 3711

 

8 496 Hustler, Centerfold Special Holiday Honey 1991 3711

 

9 497 Penthouse centerfold 3711

 

10 498 Penthouse centerfold 3711

 

11 499 Penthouse, November 1991,

 

12 page 159/160 3711

 

13 500 Playboy centerfold, Miss July 3711

 

14 501 Playboy centerfold,

 

15 Miss November 3711

 

16 502 Playboy centerfold, Miss February 3711

 

17 503 Playboy centerfold,

 

18 Miss December 3711

 

19 504 Al Goldtein’s 100 Best Adult Videos advertisement 3711

20 505 Playboy centerfold 3711

 

21 506 Hustler cover, May 1992 3711

 

22 507 Page from unknown magazine 3711

 

23 508 Playboy centerfold, Miss May 3711

 

24 509 Brown paper envelope 3713

 

25 510 Stiff Dick for Lynn

 

26 in binder 3713

 

27 511 Barely Legal 3713

 

28 512 Just Legal (Premier Issue) 3714 in binder

 

1 E X H I B I T S

 

2 FOR IN PLAINTIFF’S NO. DESCRIPTION I.D. EVID.

 

3

 

4 513 Finally Legal in binder 3714

 

5 514 Playboy, February 1993 in binder 3714

 

6 515 Hustler, Barely Legal

 

7 in binder 3714

 

8 516 Playboy, December 1994 in binder 3715

 

9 517 Playboy, May 1994 in binder 3715

 

10 518 Hustler, Barely Legal

 

11 in binder 3715

 

12 519 Penthouse in binder 3715

 

13 520 Visions of Fantasy; A Hard Rock Affair in binder 3712

 

14 521 Visions of Fantasy, Sam Jose’s

 

15 Black Starlett in binder 3716

 

16 522 Double Dicking Caroline in binder 3716

 

17 523 Big Tits and a Hard Stud

 

18 in binder 3716

 

19 524 Hustler 3716

 

20 525 “The Second Female G-Spot” article in binder 3717

 

21 526 File folder title PRN 3717

 

22 527 File folder titled “Thank

 

23 You” 3717

 

24 528 Celebrity Skin in binder 3717

 

25 529 Original evidence bag which contained all of 317 3712

 

26 530 People Magazine page,

 

27 9-11-00 3701

 

28 3600

 

1 E X H I B I T S

 

2 FOR IN PLAINTIFF’S NO. DESCRIPTION I.D. EVID.

 

3

 

4 531 Oui, March 1998 in binder 3701

 

5 532 Over 50, Volume 5, #9, 1996 in binder 3700

 

6 533 XX rated, April 1995; XX

 

7 Close Up, April 1995 in binder 3701

 

8 534 Just 18, Volume 4,

 

9 Issue No. 10 3700

 

10 535 Plumpers centerfold 3700

 

11 536 Hustler, August 1992 in binder 3700

 

12 537 Hustler, April 1998

 

13 (No cover) in binder 3699

 

14 538 Penthouse, March 1992 in binder 3699

 

15 539 Juggs, June 1996

 

16 in binder 3699

 

17 540 44 Plus, June 1996 in binder 3699

 

18 541 Plumpers, May 1996

 

19 in binder 3698

 

20 542 Club International, March 1998 in binder 3698

 

21

 

543 Live Young Girls, September

 

22 2003 in binder 3701

 

23 544 Finally Legal, July 2003 in notebook 3702

 

24 545 Finally Legal Freshman Class

 

25 Orgy, August 2002 in binder 3702

 

26 546 Purely 18, October 2002 3703 in binder

 

27 547 Purely 18, December 2002

 

28 in binder 3703

 

1 E X H I B I T S

 

2 FOR IN PLAINTIFF’S NO. DESCRIPTION I.D. EVID.

 

3 548 Tight, November 2002

 

4 in binder 3703

 

5 549 Hawk, November 2002 in binder 3704

 

6 550 Hawk, January 2003

 

7 in binder 3704

 

8 551 Live Young Girls, June 2003 in binder 3704

 

9 554 Girlfriends in binder 3709

 

10 555 Live Young Girls in binder 3709

 

11 556 Parade 3709

 

12 557 Finally Legal, February 2003

 

13 in binder 3710

 

14 558 Girls of Barely Legal in binder 3710

 

15 559 Hawk, February 2003 in binder 3710

 

16 560 Girlfriends, Special Ediitons

 

17 in binder 3711

 

18 563 White binder containing The Girls of Penthouse, August

 

19 2003 in binder 3708

 

20 564 White binder containing Barely Legal, July 2003

 

21 in binder 3708

 

22 566 White binder containing Gallery 9/2002 3708

 

23 567 White binder containing

 

24 Gallery 5/2002 3708

 

25 580 Binder containing Playboy

 

26 Couples Volume 2, Issue 2 3707

 

27 584 Original evidence bag 3707

 

28 3602

Torres’ testimony will be continued in the next post.

To be continued: https://michaeljacksonvindication2.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/march-25th-2005-trial-analysis-timothy-sutcliffe-cross-examination-alicia-romero-nancy-torres-michelle-shelley-james-wittenbrock-and-robert-spinner-direct-examination-part-2-of-2/

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. lynande51 permalink*
    August 29, 2012 9:50 pm

    What is interesting is the fact that it was the prosecution that put up the Barely Legal July 2003 and then pointed out the fingerprint on it that belonged to the accuser.What did they expect from the jury to just overlook the fact that it was not in print when Arvizo was at the ranch? And no one in the media asked how it got there either. Was anyone in the press paying attention to that? Obviously not. This is exactly where William Wagner was getting at everyone in that courtroom must have noticed the date discrepency but Sneddon and his crew.And they say that they were not blinded by prejudice? Yeah, right.

    • nannorris permalink
      August 30, 2012 12:19 am

      Yeah, I remember the video of William interviewing Oxman and Oxman saying when the defense got pictures , they werent in book form , but photos of pages , so they had to hunt down what magazine it had came out of and were surprised to find it was on a picture that NO WAY could have actually taken place, because those liars were long gone….I know Sneddon put the magazine up , but I find it hard to believe they werent covering their tracks when they just gave the picture to the defense., in page form and not book form, in the hopes they would miss it , unless after all the years of stalking MJ ,they were still completely incompetent to use that ..

      There are so many deviances from a normal prosecution in this case imo…, and the press , for the
      most part just looked the other way…
      No wonder the prosecutors thought they had a chance at getting some kind of conviction , if everyone in there was on the same side.thank heaven the jury wasnt ..
      That fingerprint alone should have made headlines considering when the press initially started out they were talking about Sneddon possible vendetta..pfft
      On a side note , I wonder if Zonen will be sending airfare for the Arvizo brothers to join his family Thanksgiving night ., because I will bet they will have the only tv NOT tuned in to watch Spike Lee Bad25 documentary..I know it is ABC airing it and they were horrible to MJ with the Bashir stuff, but we will have to take as a win anyway,,national airtime in a positive manner for MJ..YEAH
      I bet MJ is calling all kinds of people, including Frank Delio, the” sinister” word “RUBBA”, that they kept trying oi impress upon the jury,( same nickname mentioned in his funeral memorial) ..pfft…Zonen and company should be humiliated …

  2. nannorris permalink
    August 28, 2012 12:33 am

    Well frankly , to see the amount of magazines they put up just makes it look ridiculous that he would have had ALL these magazines to entice some kid , give me a break..It just makes you feel more compassion for the man because obviously he could have had just about any woman on the planet , but since everyone was a fan probably didnt seem right to him.. ,
    How uncomfortable for MJ to have to sit there and be scrutinized for that stuff in a room ful of strangers , haters and worldwide press..:((.poor MJ.
    Small wonder , in his situation,he seemed to have trouble trusting people not to take advantage of him .
    All you have to do is look at Prince William to understand how MJ thought people would always take advantage of any situation…
    But some of these magazines are from 92/93..so does this mean they saw them in the last raid?
    and they didnt care about them then?

    We know JC never mentioned any magazines but I am surprised they didnt go back with the FBI and ask him for his prints or dna.
    NOTHING adds up in what they are trying to prove..

  3. cawobeth3 permalink
    August 27, 2012 7:46 pm

    oh my… Did Seddon in his sick mind really believe that this would make an impression on jurors convincing a wrongdoing by MJ ?
    The man was truly heel-bent, logic & reasoning shelved, to try anything.

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