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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 2 of 2

August 30, 2012

The remainder of Torres’ direct examination consisted of her identifying the fingerprints that she tested on the adult magazines. Under cross examination by Sanger, Torres was questioned about her training and certifications, to which she admitted that she (at that time) was just a trainee. Also, the scenescope machine that is used to examine fingerprints malfunctioned one day, so it had to be replaced:

26 CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

27 BY MR. SANGER:

 

28 Q. Miss Torres, how are you? 3611

 

1 A. Good, thank you.

 

2 Q. How long have you been — I think you said

 

3 you were with forensics for five years with the

 

4 sheriff’s department; is that correct?

 

5 A. Correct.

 

6 Q. Do you have any prior law enforcement

 

7 training?

 

8 A. No, I don’t.

 

9 Q. And you’re not a deputy sheriff or a sworn

 

10 peace officer; is that correct?

 

11 A. Correct.

 

12 Q. And in your five years, have you worked

 

13 exclusively on fingerprints?

 

14 A. I’ve worked on fingerprints and crime scene

 

15 investigations.

 

16 Q. Okay. So the answer would be no, you have

 

17 not worked exclusively on fingerprints, correct?

 

18 A. Correct.

 

19 Q. You’ve done a number of other tasks with

 

20 regard to crime scene investigations?

 

21 A. Correct.

 

22 Q. And you’re familiar with the need to

 

23 properly label and preserve evidence; is that

 

24 correct?

 

25 A. Yes.

 

26 Q. All right. Now, are you a latent print

 

27 examiner?

 

28 A. I am a latent print examiner in training. 3612

 

1 Q. Okay. A trainee. How long have you been in

 

2 that capacity?

 

3 A. I would say for the last four years.

 

4 Q. Okay. And are you certified by any

 

5 organization?

 

6 A. No.

 

7 Q. So you’re gaining your experience as a —

 

8 let me withdraw that.

 

9 You’re gaining your training to be a latent

 

10 print examiner from your work at the sheriff’s

 

11 department?

 

12 A. From work and through training courses.

 

13 Q. You’re also taking some courses?

 

14 A. Exactly.

 

15 Q. All right. In this particular case, you did

 

16 not do any comparison of the fingerprints; is that

 

17 correct?

 

18 A. Correct.

 

19 Q. And your job was to pretty much bring the

 

20 prints up, best you can, and preserve them so that

 

21 they can be looked at by other people, correct?

 

22 A. Correct.

 

23 Q. All right. Now, you indicated that you used

 

24 the Scenescope, which we’ve heard about before in

 

25 this case, all right?

 

26 And how long — let me withdraw that.

 

27 You’re here in Santa Maria; is that correct?

 

28 A. Correct. 3613

 

1 Q. How long has the Santa Maria office of the

 

2 sheriff’s department had a Scenescope?

 

3 A. We had had it only for a couple of months

 

4 prior to us receiving this case.

 

5 Q. Okay. When did you receive this case?

 

6 A. We were assigned to process the items on, I

 

7 believe — if I may refer to my reports.

 

8 Q. Okay. If you can’t recall, you may do that.

 

9 A. The first item that we processed was — we

 

10 began processing on September 16th of 2004.

 

11 Q. Okay. So when you say, “When we received

 

12 this case,” you mean when your forensics unit

 

13 received an assignment in this case, correct?

 

14 A. Yes.

 

15 Q. All right. And you recall having the

 

16 Scenescope for about two months before September

 

17 16th?

 

18 A. Several months.

 

19 Q. Okay. About when did you receive it?

 

20 A. I would say about five months prior.

 

21 Q. Five months prior. Okay. Had you ever used

 

22 the Scenescope before you received it?

 

23 A. We had had one training day on it, but our

 

24 Scenescope had a malfunction, so it had to be sent

 

25 back.

 

26 Q. When was that training day?

 

27 A. That was — I don’t recall.

 

28 Q. Now, the Santa Barbara office of the 3614

 

1 sheriff’s department also had a Scenescope; is that

 

2 correct?

 

3 A. Correct.

 

4 Q. Did they get theirs at the same time?

 

5 A. Yes.

 

6 Q. And did you have training together?

 

7 A. On the same day.

 

8 Q. On the same day. And you’re saying —

 

9 forgive me for asking again, but you’re saying you

 

10 don’t recall the training day?

 

11 A. I don’t recall the exact date of the

 

12 training day.

13 Q. Roughly when was it?

 

14 A. I don’t recall the exact month, if that’s

 

15 what you’re asking for.

 

16 Q. So you got the machine about five months

 

17 before September. So April?

 

18 A. About that time.

 

19 Q. Okay. Could have been May?

 

20 A. It could have been.

 

21 Q. All right. And did you have your training

 

22 day about the time you received the machine?

 

23 A. No, we had the training day before we

 

24 received our machine.

 

25 Q. Okay. And then at some point, the machine

 

26 didn’t work, you sent it back, got another machine.

 

27 When did you get the machine that worked?

 

28 A. When did we get the machine to work? I 3615

 

1 believe about a month or two before we began to

 

2 process the items.

 

3 Q. Okay. So July or so of 2004?

 

4 A. I would say.

 

5 Q. Okay. And did you process any prints in any

 

6 case for the purpose of testimony in court — I mean

 

7 a real case. Did you process any prints in a real

 

8 case, before you started working on this case, using

 

9 the Scenescope?

 

10 A. No.

 

11 MR. SANGER: All right. I have no further

 

12 questions.

 

13 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: No further questions.

 

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

 

15 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

The next prosecution witness was Michelle Shelley, an I.D. technician for the Forensics Division.  Here is an excerpt from her testimony where she describes the duties that she performed in her work on the Jackson case:

16 Q. All right. Can you tell me, what were you

 

17 called in to do? What were your duties with regard

 

18 to the case of People v. Michael Jackson?

 

19 A. I was brought in for extra help. I was

 

20 assisting Detective Spinner and Detective

 

21 Wittenbrock on processing some of the evidence,

 

22 splitting it up, putting it in plastic sleeves,

 

23 super gluing it, and then hydrating it.

 

24 Q. Who was it that was in charge of splitting

 

25 up the magazines initially and placing them in

 

26 sleeves?

 

27 A. Detective Spinner.

 

28 Q. Did you assist Detective Spinner in that 3619

 

1 task?

 

2 A. Yes.

 

3 Q. And who was also charged with the initial

 

4 fuming — super glue fuming of all the magazines?

 

5 A. Detective Spinner.

 

6 Q. And did you assist Detective Spinner in that

 

7 task?

 

8 A. Yes.

 

9 Q. At some point did you team up with I.D. Tech

 

10 Wittenbrock to assist him in his look — in his

 

11 analysis and checking for latents on some of these

 

12 exhibits?

 

13 A. Yes.

 

14 Q. And what was your assignment with Detective

 

15 Wittenbrock?

 

16 A. I was assisting him in pulling out the

 

17 pieces of magazine. Basically to speed up the

 

18 process, because we had such a vast volume, I would

 

19 pull them out, pass them over to him. He would then

 

20 scan them. I would assist in writing labels if we

 

21 found a print. I would also directly type in our

 

22 findings into our computer for our reports.

 

23 Q. All right. And did you assist him or

 

24 anybody else in the ninhydrin processing of some of

 

25 these magazines?

 

26 A. Yes, I did.

Under cross examination, Shelley was questioned about her lack of experience as a fingerprint examiner, the fact that she worked on the Jackson case as a means to an end of getting a job in the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s department (she applied for an I.D. tech job, but had to work on fingerprints in this case), and her lack of authority over the work that she performed (she only did was she was told to do by her superiors):

6 CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

7 BY MR. SANGER:

 

8 Q. Hi.

 

9 A. Hi.

 

10 Q. You are not employed by the sheriff anymore?

 

11 A. No, sir, I’m not.

 

12 Q. How are you employed now, just in general?

 

13 A. I’m currently in the process of returning to

 

14 my previous job with the Delaware State Police.

 

15 Q. Okay. And what was your previous job?

 

16 A. I was an I.D. technician for them.

 

17 Q. All right. So you went to college and

 

18 studied criminal justice?

 

19 A. Uh-huh.

 

20 Q. Criminal history, I think you said?

 

21 A. Criminal justice.

 

22 Q. Criminal justice, okay.

 

23 Did you, while you were in college, do any

 

24 actual fingerprint work?

 

25 A. Yes, sir, I did.

 

26 Q. And were you employed by the State of

 

27 Delaware while you were in college?

 

28 A. No, sir. I was employed with them after 3623

 

1 graduation.

 

2 Q. Oh. So while you were in college, did you

 

3 do work on actual cases, or did you do work in a

 

4 class?

 

5 A. I did work in a class, but it was on case

 

6 studies.

 

7 Q. Case studies. So it was part of classwork?

8 A. Yes, sir.

 

9 Q. So you were with the Delaware State Police

 

10 for two years?

 

11 A. Yes.

 

12 Q. And were your duties to do things other than

 

13 fingerprints?

 

14 A. No, sir. I specifically concentrated on

 

15 fingerprints.

 

16 Q. Just did fingerprints, okay. And you came

 

17 to Santa Barbara, and you worked in records for the

 

18 sheriff’s department; is that correct?

 

19 A. Yes, sir, I did.

 

20 Q. And records has nothing to do with

 

21 chemically enhancing fingerprints or that sort of

 

22 thing; is that correct?

 

23 A. No, sir, it was to get my foot into the

 

24 door, hopefully to transfer back into my field.

 

25 Q. Okay. I’m not trying to be rude to you.

 

26 A. No, not at all.

 

27 Q. But in other words, the work that you were

 

28 doing at Santa Barbara Sheriffs had nothing to do 3624

 

1 with what you wanted to do, which was be an I.D.

 

2 tech?

 

3 A. It was a means to an end, yes.

 

4 Q. And you applied for a position as an I.D.

 

5 tech in Santa Barbara?

 

6 A. Yes, I did.

 

7 Q. And other than working on this case as extra

 

8 help, you did not get that position; is that

 

9 correct?

 

10 A. No, I have since then moved back to

 

11 Delaware.

 

12 Q. But in any event, the answer to the question

 

13 is, you did not get the position in Santa Barbara,

 

14 other than working as extra help on Mr. Jackson’s

 

15 case?

 

16 A. Correct.

 

17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll object as assuming

 

18 that she applied for a position.

 

19 THE COURT: Sustained.

 

20 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Did you apply for a position

 

21 as an I.D. tech in Santa Barbara?

 

22 A. After the Michael Jackson case was over, I

 

23 applied, and in the process moved to Delaware.

 

24 Q. Okay. Now, having said all of that, have

 

25 you used the Scenescope before you used it here on

 

26 the Michael Jackson case?

 

27 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection, assumes facts

 

28 not in evidence, that she used the Scenescope. 3625

1 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

2 You may answer.

 

3 THE WITNESS: I’ve had some experience with

 

4 it. It’s not my specialty.

 

5 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Okay. What experience have

 

6 you had?

 

7 A. I have worked getting general education from

 

8 a previous latent examiner that I worked with in

 

9 Delaware.

 

10 Q. Are you a latent print examiner yourself?

 

11 A. No, I’m not.

 

12 Q. And you mentioned somebody in Delaware?

 

13 A. Yes, sir.

 

14 Q. Did that person have a Scenescope?

 

15 A. Yes, sir.

 

16 Q. And how many times did you actually use the

 

17 Scenescope in a criminal case?

 

18 A. Not personally on a criminal case. I would

 

19 look at it, getting general education.

 

20 Q. All right. So the first time you ever used

 

21 the Scenescope in a criminal case was in the Michael

 

22 Jackson case?

 

23 A. Correct.

 

24 Q. And were you making decisions as to how the

 

25 various items of evidence should be processed?

 

26 A. No, sir.

 

27 Q. You were pretty much helping and doing as

 

28 directed? 3626

 

1 A. Correct.

 

2 Q. And the people directing you were?

 

3 A. Detective Spinner and Detective Wittenbrock.

 

4 Q. All right. Is there anybody else on your

 

5 forensic unit, in your forensic unit, in Santa

 

6 Barbara doing this?

 

7 A. We have — are generally headed by Sergeant

 

8 Julio Santana, who would give general direction, but

 

9 he’s the head of our department.

 

10 Q. Okay. Was he giving general — I guess my

 

11 point is, was he working on this case?

 

12 A. He was heading the case.

 

13 Q. All right. Did he do any actual physical

 

14 work on this case?

 

15 A. Not to my knowledge.

 

16 Q. Okay. And the direct — the directions that

 

17 you received came directly from either Detective

 

18 Wittenbrock or Detective Spinner; is that right?

 

19 A. Yes.

 

20 Q. All right. Did you receive training on the

 

21 Scenescope from the Spex company?

 

22 A. No, sir.

 

23 Q. Were you aware that there was a training day

 

24 held on the — with regard to this instrument for

 

25 the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s personnel?

 

26 A. No, sir.

 

27 MR. SANGER: All right. No further

28 questions. 3627

Under redirect-examination, Auchincloss asked Shelley to confirm that she wasn’t responsible for the 19 prints that were presented in court in this case, and this was done to undermine the fact that she was woefully inexperienced in the field of fingerprint testing, and he didn’t want the jury to get the impression that she played a significant part in the testing of the magazines:

4 REDIRECT EXAMINATION

 

5 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:

 

6 Q. Miss Shelley, were you the finder,

 

7 photographer, for any fingerprint of these 19 prints

 

8 that we’ve talked about or that have been presented

 

9 in this case?

 

10 A. No.

 

11 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Thank you. No further

 

12 questions.

 

13 MR. SANGER: No further questions.

 

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

 

15 step down.

The next prosecution witness was Detective James Wittenbrock, who also worked in the Forensics Unit of the Criminal Investigations Division. Here is his description of the work that he did during the case:

7 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right. Did you

 

8 participate in a search for latent fingerprints on a

 

9 number of magazines in the case of People v. Michael

 

10 Jackson?

 

11 A. Yes, sir.

 

12 Q. And what was your assignment?

 

13 A. My assignment was to use the Scenescope and

 

14 search, in my case, several magazines for latents or

 

15 developing prints on the magazines. And after that,

 

16 they were processed with the ninhydrin, and then

 

17 another search of all those magazines I did all

 

18 myself.

 

19 Q. Had the magazines that you searched with the

 

20 Scenescope been previously processed in any fashion?

 

21 A. Yes, they had.

 

22 Q. In what fashion?

 

23 A. They’d received a cyanoacrylate fuming

 

24 process, which is commonly referred to as super glue

 

25 fuming.

The remainder of Det. Wittenbrock’s direct examination consisted of him testifying about the fingerprints that he tested and examined on the adult magazines that were seized from Neverland.

Under cross-examination, Sanger questioned Wittenbrock about his lack of knowledge of the differences between using a film and digital camera to examine fingerprints:

19 Q. All right. And you told us about your

 

20 training. Did you have any training on a Scenescope

 

21 other than what you received from the I.D. tech in

 

22 this case?

 

23 A. No, sir. I was retired during that time. I

 

24 believe it was a four-hour demo they had.

 

25 Q. Okay. They had a demo from the

 

26 manufacturers?

 

27 A. Yes.

 

28 Q. And you missed that one? 3637

 

1 A. Yes.

 

2 Q. And then you went up to Santa Maria, if I

 

3 understand this?

 

4 A. That’s correct.

 

5 Q. And you met with who?

 

6 A. Detective Sutcliffe and Detective — Tech

 

7 Torres.

 

8 Q. I.D. Tech Torres, Miss Torres?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 Q. And they told you how to work the

 

11 Scenescope?

 

12 A. Correct.

 

13 Q. All right. Now, you told the District

 

14 Attorney that it wasn’t particularly hard to do, I

 

15 think.

 

16 A. I don’t think it is.

 

17 Q. Were you familiar with the issues regarding

 

18 there should be a film camera used or a digital

 

19 camera used?

 

20 A. Actually, I — I actually called the factory

 

21 and inquired into some of the different cameras.

 

22 They sell it with digital cameras, and you can use a

 

23 film camera.

 

24 Q. When did you call?

 

25 A. This was back when I was doing this

 

26 processing, right at the very first or second day.

 

27 Q. Were you aware that they recommend that a

 

28 film camera be used? 3638

 

1 A. They sell this camera with low-resolution

 

2 digital cameras. I’m not aware that they recommend

 

3 the 35-millimeter or any film camera.

 

4 Q. That was my question. Are you aware that

 

5 they recommend a 35-millimeter film camera?

 

6 A. No.

 

7 Q. Are you aware that the reason for using a

 

8 film camera is that there is a better resolution, a

 

9 better result in the actual photograph?

 

10 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Assumes facts not in

 

11 evidence, that they recommend a different camera.

 

12 MR. SANGER: That’s in evidence.

 

13 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.

 

14 Do you want the question read back?

 

15 THE WITNESS: Try the question one more

 

16 time, please.

 

17 THE COURT: Read it back.

 

18 (Record read.)

 

19 THE WITNESS: I’m not aware of that. I would

 

20 not agree with that.

 

21 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Okay. Do you know whether

 

22 or not a digital camera is likely to wash out some

 

23 of the detail in a print that would otherwise be

 

24 captured on 35-millimeter film?

 

25 A. Could you qualify the digital camera a

 

26 little bit? It’s a very — covers a lot of digital

 

27 cameras.

 

28 Q. Okay. Well, without talking about 3639

 

1 particular digital cameras, have you heard of this

2 being a problem in developing latent prints?

 

3 A. No.

Before ending his cross examination, Sanger questioned Det. Wittenbrock about his experience with latent fingerprint comparisons, and his duties as a superior to the other detectives who assisted him in his tests:

4 Q. Did you have any training with regard to the

 

5 interrelation between the process of super glue

 

6 fuming and the use of the Scenescope?

 

7 A. I had some — I’m sorry, I don’t quite —

 

8 Q. That’s fine. Let me ask you this: Were you

 

9 aware that with the Scenescope, if you overfumed the

 

10 super glue, you could lose detail?

 

11 A. You could overfume separate from using the

 

12 Scenescope. You can overfume that process to where

 

13 you lose detail on the print.

 

14 Q. You can over — if you really overfume, you

 

15 can pretty much just obliterate the print, blot it

 

16 out; is that correct?

 

17 A. Absolutely, and it would be useless.

 

18 Q. Were you aware that with a Scenescope, you

 

19 can decrease the amount of fuming and enhance the

 

20 print more efficiently with less fuming?

 

21 A. I think that’s a fair statement, yes.

 

22 Q. Did you know that at the time you were doing

 

23 this?

 

24 A. Yes. Yes.

 

25 Q. Did you have any input to Detective

 

26 Spinner — let me withdraw that. Detective Spinner

 

27 is the one that did the fuming?

 

28 A. He did some of the fuming. 3640

 

1 Q. Did you do any of the fuming?

 

2 A. No.

 

3 Q. Did you have any input into the fuming

 

4 process to whoever was doing the fuming?

 

5 A. Yes.

 

6 Q. Did you explain to them that they should

 

7 use — they should decrease the amount of fuming

 

8 because you were using a Scenescope?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 Q. And who did you tell that to?

 

11 A. That was both Detective Spinner and Michelle

 

12 Shelley. Michelle Shelley.

 

13 Q. Okay. And what you want to do — now, are

 

14 you a latent print examiner?

 

15 A. I examine latent prints. I am not — I was

 

16 not trained for the comparison part, but as an

 

17 examiner I do examine prints.

 

18 Q. So you don’t do comparisons?

 

19 A. Training — I did a lot of comparisons, but

 

20 I was not at the level, the top level to actually do

 

21 the — I was training in comparisons.

 

22 Q. All right. So you were a latent print

 

23 trainee?

 

24 A. Comparison trainee, yes.

 

25 MR. SANGER: All right. Thank you. No

 

26 further questions.

Auchincloss questioned Det. Wittenbrock under redirect-examination on the fuming process that was used to search for the fingerprints on the magazines, and Det. Wittenbrock testified that the magazines were not overfumed (which is what Sanger insinuated during his cross examination.)

1 REDIRECT EXAMINATION

 

2 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:

 

3 Q. Detective, if you overfume a print, what is

 

4 the result?

 

5 A. It’s a degradation of the clarity of the

 

6 print, as has been said. It fills in between the

 

7 ridges.

 

8 Q. Is it visible?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 Q. Have you had an opportunity to look at all

 

11 the prints, these 19 prints on these cards that we

 

12 have presented here?

 

13 A. I’ve had the opportunity. I haven’t really

 

14 looked at them in detail.

 

15 Q. Okay. But you have looked in detail with

 

16 the three that you testified about?

 

17 A. Yes.

 

18 Q. Any of them overfumed?

 

19 A. No.

 

20 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Thank you. No further

 

21 questions.

 

22 MR. SANGER: No further questions.

 

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

 

24 step down.

 

25 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

The next prosecution witness was Detective Robert Spinner, a member of the Santa Barbara County Forensic’s Unit. In this excerpt, he describes his involvement in the Jackson case:

16 Q. With respect to the fingerprints collected

 

17 in this case and the ones that you analyzed, can you

 

18 please explain to the jury where you became involved

 

19 in the process that we’ve heard much about so far?

 

20 A. When I was called back into the Forensics

 

21 Unit for part-time assistance due to personnel

 

22 staffing levels, I believe it was the last part of

 

23 July in 2003, I was asked if I would assist with the

 

24 evidence processing in this case.

 

25 Q. Okay. Were you involved in setting up the

 

26 protocol for how the large volumes of magazines and

 

27 other items of paper would be processed?

 

28 A. No, I was not. 3656

 

1 Q. Okay. Did you have a clear understanding of

 

2 what that protocol would be?

 

3 A. It was shown to me and I read through it,

 

4 yes. I understood what they were — what was being

 

5 required and requested.

 

6 Q. Was it an acceptable process from your point

 

7 of view?

 

8 A. Yes, sir.

 

9 Q. Okay. What was your role in the handling of

10 the magazines and other items of evidence that were

 

11 processed for fingerprints?

 

12 A. My role started when I obtained the magazine

 

13 item numbers from the property room. I returned

 

14 them to the Forensics Unit, where the evidence bags

 

15 were then opened.

 

16 And then what I did was, I first initially

 

17 took each individual magazine and photodocumented

 

18 that magazine page per page. I then took the

 

19 magazine and cut the magazine or separated the

 

20 magazine down the spine or the middle to separate

 

21 each page into its own individual page.

 

22 Then the magazine was recorrelated to

 

23 maintain the page order. The magazine was then

 

24 subjected to cyanoacrylate ester fuming, which is

 

25 known as super glue fuming, in an effort to develop

 

26 and stabilize any latent fingerprints which may or

 

27 may not be on each individual page.

 

28 After this was done, the pages were then 3657

 

1 either recorrelated or immediately placed into

 

2 plastic sleeves, which were then placed into

 

3 binders, and then the binders became the magazine,

 

4 or book, or pamphlet.

 

5 Q. So, were you the individual responsible for

 

6 slicing the magazines up and subjecting them to the

 

7 fumes from super glue?

 

8 A. I cut and processed the grand majority of

 

9 the magazines. Michelle Shelley processed a few of

 

10 them at my direction toward the end when we got very

 

11 busy.

 

12 Q. Were you working under some kind of time

 

13 crunch?

 

14 A. Yes. We were told we had to have this

 

15 project completed by December 17th of 2003.

 

16 Q. Once the items had been subjected to the

 

17 super glue fuming, did you repackage them?

 

18 A. They were — after the super glue fuming was

 

19 completed, each individual page was placed into a

 

20 plastic page protector, which was then placed into a

 

21 three-ring binder.

 

22 Q. Okay. And then those binders would go

 

23 where; do you know?

 

24 A. The binders were either kept in the Santa

 

25 Barbara lab for processing there, or they were sent

 

26 to the Santa Maria lab for processing there, due to

 

27 the length of time it was going to take to do the

 

28 additional processing for latent fingerprints. 3658

 

1 Q. Okay. The deadline you had was in December

 

2 of 2004, correct?

 

3 A. I’m sorry, 2004. That is correct.

 

4 Q. My astute colleagues here.

 

5 The teams that were responsible for further

 

6 developing or examining the magazines and their

 

7 contents for latent fingerprints in the North County

 

8 would have been who; do you know?

 

9 A. They would have been Detective Sutcliffe and

 

10 I.D. Technician Torres.

 

11 Q. And in the South County, who did you use?

 

12 A. Detective Wittenbrock and Michelle Shelley.

 

13 Q. And what was the procedure from that point

 

14 forward, if you know?

 

15 A. Once I was through assembling the magazines

 

16 back into the binder, in the individual page

 

17 protectors, they were either sent to Santa Maria or

 

18 they were kept in-house and then processed for

 

19 latent fingerprints using what’s known as a RUVIS

 

20 Scenescope to look for, develop and stabilize super

 

21 glue prints on the pages. The pages were then

 

22 subjected to a ninhydrin process to attempt to

 

23 further develop any fingerprints.

 

24 When these two processes were completed, the

 

25 magazine pages were then reinserted into the plastic

 

26 sleeves, placed back into the binders, and the

 

27 binders were then correlated by myself, accounted

 

28 for, and then booked back into the evidence room. 3659

After going through an exhaustive list of exhibits (which consisted of Det. Spinner identifying the fingerprints that he examined), Auchincloss then asked Det. Spinner about his due diligence in the handling and identification of the fingerprints of Jackson and Gavin Arvizo, who he positively identified on many of the pages of the various magazines that were examined:

5 Sergeant Spinner, on how many occasions did

 

6 you review the fingerprint identifications that you

 

7 made in this case?

 

8 A. Several.

 

9 Q. And why did you do that?

 

10 A. I usually review my work after it’s

 

11 completed to make sure there’s no problem, something

 

12 that was either missed, just to make sure that

 

13 there’s no problems in the future. And I’ll again

 

14 review them before I go to court.

 

15 Q. Okay. If there is an issue in your mind

 

16 about an identification, what is your habit and

 

17 custom?

 

18 A. I will correct — if there is a problem,

 

19 I’ll make every effort to correct that problem.

 

20 Q. And how would you do that?

 

21 A. Write a report describing the issue at hand

 

22 and what should be done, or what action should be

 

23 taken or was taken.

 

24 Q. Would you testify to a fingerprint that you

 

25 had issues with?

 

26 A. No.

 

27 Q. In this case, did you have issues with a

 

28 fingerprint? 3694

 

1 A. Yes, I did.

 

2 Q. Do you recall which one it was?

3 A. I believe it was off of Item No. 317-O,

 

4 ocean. It was a thumbprint belonging to Mr. Jackson

 

5 which was fraught with problems.

 

6 Q. Okay. Is that the thumbprint that you

 

7 testified in court today matched Mr. Jackson’s

 

8 thumb?

 

9 A. No, it is not.

 

10 Q. With respect to the other print, what did

 

11 you do to remedy the situation that you had with it?

 

12 A. The thumbprint?

 

13 Q. Yes.

 

14 A. Yes, sir, I wrote a report changing the

 

15 classification of the print from an identification

 

16 to an inconclusive identification.

 

17 Q. Did you engage in a peer review of the

 

18 fingerprints that you’ve identified today in court

 

19 under oath?

 

20 A. Yes, I did.

 

21 Q. And how many people reviewed those findings?

 

22 A. Two additional people.

 

23 Q. Please explain to the jury what the function

 

24 of a peer review is.

 

25 A. A peer review is basically an extension of

 

26 the ACE-V protocol methodology for fingerprints.

 

27 It’s also something recognized by a group known as

 

28 SWGFST, which is a scientific working group for 3695

1 fingerprint work, and they have published guidelines

 

2 in the past. And it’s basically a way to verify

 

3 what an individual has done and to kind of like —

 

4 in a way, it would be like a blind test to see

 

5 whether any problems were encountered, or whether

 

6 there was a different way of doing things, or

 

7 whether the identifications which were made are

 

8 correct, and get any feedback from that individual,

 

9 maybe a different way of doing something or

 

10 different way of handling a situation.

 

11 Q. And — you mentioned it’s sort of a blind

 

12 test. How does a peer review function?

 

13 A. The latent prints and the purported matches

 

14 would be sent to an individual without any marks on

 

15 them whatsoever, and just questions asked, “Do you

 

16 agree or disagree?”

 

17 Q. Okay. And who did you use for the peer

 

18 reviews in this case?

 

19 A. Initially — I.D. technician Hemman was off

 

20 on maternity leave at the time we did this. I used

 

21 Identification Technician Mike Allmeyer from the

 

22 Santa Barbara Police Department for the initial.

 

23 Q. Have you known him for some time?

 

24 A. Yes, I have.

 

25 Q. What does he do with the Santa Barbara

 

26 Police Department?

 

27 A. He’s an identification technician in their

 

28 lab. 3696

 

1 Q. How long were you professionally affiliated

 

2 with him?

 

3 A. Since he came to work for the sheriff’s

 

4 office initially, and then he went from the

 

5 sheriff’s office to the police department. I was

 

6 going to guess about 13, 14 years.

Det. Spinner’s testimony dragged on and on and on, and consisted almost exclusively of him identifying fingerprints on the magazines that he examined, and Sanger didn’t have time to cross-examine him on this day, so he had to wait until the next court day.

Prior to recessing for the day, Judge Melville issued this statement to the jury:

6 THE COURT: Good. Let me — just before I

 

7 release you, remember, tomorrow morning we’ll —

 

8 THE JURY: (In unison) Tomorrow?

 

9 THE COURT: I mean Monday morning. Do you

 

10 want to work tomorrow?

 

11 THE JURY: (In unison) No.

 

12 THE COURT: Monday morning, 11:30.

 

13 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Your Honor, I’m sorry.

 

14 There was just one exhibit that we wanted to admit,

 

15 769.

 

16 THE COURT: Let’s do it later. We’re past

 

17 that. We’re on our way.

 

18 I want to give you another special admonition

 

19 at this point. I’ve tried to remind you as we go

 

20 along through the week, but it’s important.

 

21 It’s extremely important that you don’t read

 

22 any newspaper accounts or watch television or listen

 

23 to the radio concerning this case. We’re at a point

 

24 in the case where the news media is not restricted

 

25 anymore from reporting pretty much almost entirely.

 

26 There’s just a few restrictions. So there’s a lot

 

27 of things they could report that’s not for you to

 

28 know about. 3722

 

1 That’s frankly what it’s about. There’s

 

2 things that jurors are not to know when they reach

 

3 their decision. And those are the things that we

 

4 discuss out of your presence, and it would be

 

5 extremely unfortunate if you got that information

 

6 from somewhere else. But I trust you not to do

 

7 that, and that’s why the restrictions don’t exist

 

8 anymore, because I do trust you not to do that.

 

9 And I did mention to you to have some family

 

10 member collect those items. You know, they can

 

11 collect the newspaper articles, and they can record

 

12 television programs, and you’ll be, you know, very

 

13 interested, I’m sure, when it’s over to read all

 

14 that and have that. So I hope you have somebody

 

15 doing that for you, but they’re not to relate those

 

16 things to you now.

 

17 Again, you can’t talk to anybody about the

 

18 case, including each other. It’s extremely

 

19 important that you not do that. I’ve said before

20 that the community is watching. I don’t mean people

 

21 are spying on you. That’s not the case at all. But

 

22 the community is watching to see how the Court and

 

23 the jurors, the attorneys, the witnesses behave in

 

24 this case.

 

25 And in that regard, I want to address

 

26 particularly family members, because, you know,

 

27 family members feel that they have an exception to

 

28 the rule. You know, “Well, you’re not supposed to 3723

 

1 discuss the case with anyone but me,” you know.

 

2 And I like to joke about that and say, this

 

3 is the one time that you have the opportunity to

 

4 hold something over your spouse, you know, your

 

5 special other, your children, and say, “No,” you

 

6 know, “I’m not going to talk to you about this and

 

7 you’re not to talk to me about this. And I know

 

8 you’re watching television when I’m not here, and I

 

9 know you’re getting this information, but that’s for

 

10 you to keep to yourself.”

 

11 And it’s been important that you draw this

 

12 hard line with your family, because that’s the

 

13 place. It’s not some stranger that’s going to walk

 

14 up to you and say, “Did you know what they had on

 

15 T.V. the other day?” It’s going to be someone close

 

16 to you.

 

17 So if they do that, you know, you need to

 

18 demonstrate your strength and tell them, “No, don’t

 

19 talk to me about this. The Judge has said we’re not

 

20 to talk about it, and I don’t want to hear it about

 

21 it, and if you keep doing it, I’m going to kick you

 

22 out of the house” — no, don’t say that. But you

 

23 know what I mean. Be firm with them.

 

24 And I do like to hear laughter in the

 

25 courtroom. I’ll see you all Monday morning.

 

26 THE JURY: (In unison) Thank you.

 

27 (The proceedings adjourned at 2:15 p.m.)

To be continued: https://michaeljacksonvindication2.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/march-28th-2005-trial-analysis-judge-melvilles-decision-on-prior-bad-acts-settlements-evidence-george-lopez-ann-serrano-lopez-and-robert-spinner-direct-cross-examination-p/

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