Skip to content

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):





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?




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:





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.




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:





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?




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:





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:





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:





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:





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






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






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






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






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




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




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:


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/ 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: