View Full Version : Dr. Timothy Huntington testimony (Asst Professor of Biology at Concordia in Nebraska)
06-17-2011, 09:06 AM
Dr. Tim Huntington is the next witness. He has asked if they can take breaks so that he can check his blood pressure.
HHJBP - how long you plan to keep him up there Mr. Baez?
JB - these things are hard to know. Not as long as Heather Seubert - but longer than a half an hour. It could be extensive.
Jury coming back in.
06-17-2011, 09:15 AM
JB - Dr. Timothy Huntington - cheat sheet for court reporter - Asst. Prof. of Biology @ Concordia U, Forensic Entomologist consultant - extra explaination of entomology evidence...Bach and Masters and PhD Entomology @ University of Nebraska Lincoln. Focus on entomology - forensics use of insects as evidence - board cert. trained, diplomate of Amer. Board of Forensic Entomology....currently 15 members - written publications and peer reviewed literature and non-peer reviewed popular papers as well...first study in undergrad. - entire Grad school - decomp entomology....most case work from LE, he is a Dep. Sheriff...honors forensic ent - there are none....has received awards for teaching and research....for LE ...(object-overrule) LE 65 times testified - death investigations majority homicide - normally @ scenes? whenever possible like to go scene - better if he can go bcause he knows what he is looking for and see in context - most time in Nebraska, Iowa, he collects his own - otherwise it is sent to him....he teaches classes, forensic science .....professional organization - diplomate highest level membership - qualificatations higher level education and more publications....he joined as member 2nd person to join as a member - submit publications- take exam 12 hours, lab exam and case study exam.....sidebar
06-17-2011, 09:16 AM
DIRECT EXAMINATION OF DR. TIM HUNTINGTON BY JB:
He has a cheat sheet for the court reporter.
He is assistant professor of biology at Concordia University and a forensic entomology consultant since 2002.
BS in scient in biology, MS and PhD in entomology from University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
Training - His entire focus has been forensic entomology - insect evidence.
Certified diplomate of the American Board of Entomology - the only certifying agency in the world for forensic entomology. There are 15 members in the U.S.
He has several publications and book chapters, as well as non-peer reviewed papers.
He has conducted several studies. Entire graduate career focusing on forensic entomology.
Consults with LE and works as a deputy sheriff.
OBJECTION - SUSTAINED - disregard last statement
Received awards from U of Neb and ABE.
OBJECTION - OVERRULED
Consulted for law enforcement 65 times. Likes to go to the scene when possible. Other than that, it gets sent to him.
He has done a number of invited presentations to a number of different agencies, has traveled outside country, teaches a class at U of Neb as an adjunct professor and teaches at Concordia.
Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic entomology - highest level. Qualifications - submit case studies, level of education and publications. At the time he joined, he was the second member to join. There is a 12 hour exam.
OBJECTION by JA
SIDEBAR #1 (9:15)
06-17-2011, 09:37 AM
Dr. Huntington w/JB - received phone call from LKB on 12/08 would you be involved in this case? he flew down on 13th on Sat. and got a phone call on Thurs. night....info given to review in this case - evidence received was entomology reports from dr. Neil Haskell - later came to FL OCSO to view insects, car itself, insect material, later on vacuum sweepings from trunk liner received the report but not sweepings.....
Entomology is science study of insects diverse field - agricultural states - deal with bugs attack food we eat.....other ones look @ bugs cockroaches, ......forensic entomology insects in dead people - there are insects infect people that are alive.....he does those cases as well.....field forensic entomology deals with time of death.....naturally all bodies sit for some period of time - rare LE is there @ time of death to discover the body.....time interval between death and discovery.....insects discover dead bodies very quickly-colonize a dead animal on side road - dead carcas on side of road green and blue flies around......lay eggs ....larvae ......
draw out the info - mike him up with lavallier .....
insects come in several categories - flies main examples - complete metamorphasis - butterfly - eggs hatch to larvae= fly maggots = small they eat - sole function to eat...first stage larvae maggot - starts to feed - insects are arthropod - exoskeleton means jointed foot - in ocean want to eat in on land want to step on it....cant get bigger without breaking out of exoskeleton - circadas leave shells behind....molten exoskeleton - crawl out of it - like snake get out of skin - crawl out of exoskeleton - get bigger -2nd stage - maggots associated with dead bodies - very easy to tell one stage from next - exoskeleton left behind - flimsy on maggots - disolves and small....can be of evidentiary value - maggots and find shed exoskeletons recent change you can say first to second stage......second stage maggots feed - turn to 3rd stage maggot - flies talking here 3 stages to adult 3 stages of maggots - elementary school, middle school and highschool maggots - when they finish feeding need to change into adult- like butterfly to metamorphasis - pupae - cocoon stage of fly - puparia this is exoskeleton of 3rd stage maggot - they are changing into adult fly - just like butterfly chrysalsis.....adult fly emerge out - ends pop open - wiggle out - flex out wings and let dry and fly off.....do they stay all where the body is.....depending on the species most of them with dead bodies crawl away from food source - entomology implications - gone stage from crawling feeding active energy phase - to dormant stage - cant run away ....lots like to eat this ...craw away from food source - get away to prevent other insects or animals to eat them...self preservation.....how far away? depends on species....teach workshops - tell CSI -look at least 30-40 feet away - recovered 60' feet away some are 100's of feet ...pile maggots - in center of courtroom - watch them crawl out corners and door nothing to eat here.....all depends on environment...
how does that tell you how long person deceased - insects are cold blood....9 months to grow a baby for human core body temp----insects fluctuate temp....object - sidebar....
06-17-2011, 09:38 AM
SIDEBAR OVER AT 9:17
DIRECT EXAMINATION OF TIM HUNTINGTON BY JB
OBJECTION BY JA MADE PRIOR TO SIDEBAR OVERRULED
Testified as an expert witness 8 times.
JB tender the witness as an expert in the field of forensic entomology - no objection by JA.
He received a phone call from LKB on 12/11/08, asking for his involvement in this case. He then came to Florida on Saturday the 13th.
He received the entomology reports of Dr. Haskel. He then came to FL and reviewed some of the evidence in house at the OCSO, insect evidence collected from the scene, trash bag from car, and reviewed the car. He later received a box of insect material.
Dr. Haskel later received vacuum sweepings from the trunk liner of the vehicle which he has not yet received, but he has received Dr. Haskel's report, He is aware of the species of insects and number.
Entomology - the study of insects - diverse field. Vast majority of entomologists will deal with agricultural insects. Other entomologists will work at urban insects. Forensic entomology is a sub discipline of medical-criminal entomology dealing with insects in dead people. Forensic entomology deals primarily with using insects to estimate the time of death - postmortem interval - time interval between death and discovery of the remains. Insects are important because they discovery dead bodies very quickly, colonizing a human. They lay eggs, which hatch into maggots (larval insects). Witness leaving stand to write on JB's big note pad.
Flies are the main insects - they go through a complete metamorphosis - such as a butterfly. Flies hatch into maggots - starting small - their entire function is to eat. (Witness wrote too small and had to start a new page).
Eggs hatch to maggots - first stage maggot starts to feed. Insects are arthropods (a phylum of animals that has an exoskeleton- insects, spiders, ticks). Skeleton is on outside of body and can't get bigger without getting outside their body. They crawl out of their skeleton like a snake crawls out of their skin. When they do that, they get bigger. Maggots then turn into a second stage - a little bit bigger. It is very easy to tell one stage from the next because they have different characteristics. The skeleton is left behind and it either dissolves or dries up. It can be significant if you can find them as it is indicative to the time of transition. The second stage maggots get bigger and turn into third stage maggots. (The flies go through 3 stages of maggots) When they finish feeding they need to change into an adult. They will pupate which takes place in a structure that is called a paradigm ?). The adult fly will then emerge, taking time to stretch out and flex their wings, and then they fly away from the food source, to prevent other insects or animals from eating them. They go at least 30-50 feet away - up to hundreds of feet, or as little as 10 feet.
Insects are cold blooded. All organisms are dependent on temperature. Insect temperatures fluctuate with the environment.
OBJECTION BY JA
SIDEBAR #2 (9:37)
06-17-2011, 09:47 AM
[b]sidebar #2 over (9:47)
jury excused for a brief recess
06-17-2011, 09:54 AM
Dr. Huntington did not come up with Post Mortem Interval (pmi) - Dr. haskell didnt come up with exact PMI gave a time frame......maggots from trunk if you assume are from a decomposing body...you could give a PMI - any other topics ....is that all you plan to testify on that topic PMI isthere more? that should be sufficient....no further questions...
JA - PMI could have been done under what circumstances - maggots from trash bag from trunk if you associate they came from a human body - PMI - approx. time of death...why were you not able to do that....could not make that assumption ...for him there was no reason to make the assumption the maggots came from a human body....make that assumption......
JA actually - don't know about that it was the car....thought he was going to talk about the scene - apologise ......
Another area @ sidebar from bench - take care of those now - both counsel agreed to not discuss another issue.....any other matters need to take up? take a short break for participants.....
HHBP one of the things - Dr. Baez did you file Dr. Huntingtons report -we did way back when we have all order for the reports - can provide the court with another copy....Jb ask to be excused for 10 min recess.....
5 past hour recess
06-17-2011, 09:56 AM
PROFFER EXAMINATION OF DR HUNTINGTON BY JB (NO JURY)
He did not perform a postmortem interval estimation in this case. Dr. Haskel did not conduct a specific pmi investigation. He did, however, say it was consistent with such and such date - depending on how you interpret.
It could have been possible to determine a postmortem interval based on the maggots found in the trunk of the car in July 08. It was not done in this case.
Are there any other topics? SORRY JUDGE
Is that all you plan on testifying on that topic - on PMI? No.
PROFFER EXAMINATION BY JA
A PMI could have been done - with the maggots from the trash bag in the trunk, if you assume they came from a human body, then you could have estimated how long ago those were laid.
He could not do that based on the evidence collected, for him there was no reason to assume they came from a human body. If you make that assumption, you could.
JA - make that assumption.
No more questions by JA.
By JA - now that he knows they are talking about the car, they have no objections.
JJHBP - another area of disagreement expressed at the bench, dealing with the scene. JA stated t
JJHBP - Did you file Dr. H's report?
JB - I believe I did.
hey agreed they were not going to discuss that.
SHORT BREAK TAKEN at 9:54 to 10:05
(FG asks for a SIDEBAR #3 (Time taken out of break?)
06-17-2011, 10:22 AM
Huntington - insects are cold blooded - know stage they are in, rate of development, and temperature.....simple math ......farmers know when to use certain herbicides or pesticides ....same concept for insects....add up the temperature with size of shells? doesn't have to do with size of a maggot or juvenile insect - has everything to do with how much they have eaten....stages are temp dependent and how old...first stage maggot hatched from an egg- @ 70degrees F. takes 8 hrs for it to hatch....when do this is legal or experimental setting.....take daytime temp, hourly temp whatever data available and tally those towards an accumulated degree days necessary for stage transitions.....basically math computation between temperature certain days and maggot stage....
3 things forensic entomology needs to see how old insect is....first is stage and species of the sample....every species has a different rate of growth.....stage snapshot in time where in development in their cycle....
second need - Devleopmental rates - experimentally constructed known temps and known samples of insects ....construct a growth curve - published throughout literature...he did his masters degree on this
3rd needs - Temperatures experienced during development - very rare for someone to die next to a weather station ..... look for a data recording weather station.....hourly and daily temperatures.....one part town is cooler or raining another part of town is sunny....recording temperature device at the scene after evidcence recovered and log those temps to compare to weather station temps.....scene temps are typically 5 degrees warmer etc. and adjust to weather station data.......
don't use live human cadavars to come up with studies? no people frown on this that typically.....body farm....human remains to decomp to study.....alternates for human cadavars ....less control want to know when body died and got there as a scientist cuz insects know immediately when body is dead.....where bodies come from are donated bodies....been dead for some period of time....we use pigs for idecomp studies.....readily available, kill pig for research, cheap very similar to humans physically, omnivores eat same food we eat....do a lot research with a pig can't get away with a human....done studies on decomp in trunk of car....do you have demonstative aides? certainly.
06-17-2011, 10:39 AM
Huntington w/JB - place pigs into trunks of old vehicles from junk yard....used a Ford Probe and used 6 veh. - donated by tow company.....this is most intact vehicle...no obvious holes in it.....ever inspect Pontiac Sunfire ? yes 7/2010 (object - overrule) liner had been removed ....space or gaps unsealed spaces for insects to pass thru...
this car match in the category....factory condition well sealed - no body damage -.. obtain pigs - place in trunk veh. Sept. in Nebraska - no flies on pig when close trunk - waited watch observe for insect colony....check it daily....watch for insects - weather was cool and rainy @ time....insects cold blooded...when cool down cold - we don't have bugs fly around...hot and sunny lots insects fly....rain greatly surpresses insect activity = cool weather also......
pig in trunk - photo thru back windshield of that car with pig in trunk - live and dead flies lining back window ledge - blow flies most common insects colonize ....(object-?)
when photo taken? day 10 in sept.....correlate that with FL weather in summer.....best estimate? are you qualified to say ....cooler in Nebraska than FL in Sept....
blowflies - most important family of flies for forensic entomologist- green blue flies buzzing around road kill, most important show up very soon minutes to hours after death....you can be sleep in hammock in backyard - they are around you but if you have heart attack and die they will be on you in seconds - seen it 13 seconds after death after death of animal.......car sealed -car doors closed, windows up......
flies dead in the car - of importance - fly gains access to sealed environment - person dies in a home - those adult flies don't find way out....attraction to stay with food is bigger than the force to flea the area....trap for them....fly traps work same the way....can't get out.....
3rd pic - decompse remains of pig when open trunk on day 11 - decomp pig - these whitish spots are maggots fed on pig - actively crawl away and looking for a place to pupae - decomp fluid ring from pig as it decomps - fly colony starts in the head....disarticulate skeleton - maggot act.....flies attracked as he opened the trunk....black material decomp fluid - combo of body fluid, bacteria, waste, maggot waste secretions, that fluid leaches from body as decomp happens....stain distinguishable? object -
Dr. do you know what stain is - Overrule
Decomp fluid stain - most studies conducted have been in outdoor environment - this same stain reaches the ground .....cases like this with a mat or carpet very noticable - Object- sidebar!
06-17-2011, 10:40 AM
JURY BACK (10:09)
DIRECT EXAMINATION OF DR. HUNTINGTON BY JB - continued
Witness goes back to easel.
How does the bug activity tell you how long a person has been deceased? It all has to do with temperature. Cold blood insect's rate is dependent on temperature, if you know the stage, temperature and rate of development, it becomes a mathematical formulation. i.e. - farmer and degree day concept.
Size of larva has everything to do with what they have eaten, not age. Temperature is important. 1st stage maggot, at 70 degrees it takes about 8 hours for it to hatch, then one knows it has been at least 8 hours since the eggs were laid.
In a legal setting, they will take the daily temps, average daily temp or hourly temp, add them up towards a number of accumulated degree days that is necessary for the stage transitions. Mathematical computation between the days and the stages.
3 things needed to estimate insect age - 1. stage and species of sample (every species has different developmental rate). 2. Developmental rates - experimentally constructed using known temps and insects - growth curve or chart), 3. temperatures - temps the insects experienced during development - they look for a weather data recording station nearby - then compare to the scene.
JB - live human cadavers (what?)
Witness then referred to info that comes from the Body Farm for data. Also, he finds it impractical to use human body research facilities because the bodies are donated and have been dead for some period of time long before they get to the site of decomp. Pigs are used because they are readily available, cheap and very similar to human's both physically as well as their digestive processes and they can do a lot of research with a pig that they can't do with humans.
JB - showing the jury Defense Exhibit A-V - (JA - no objection as demonstrative only).
Witness - a photo of a car. He was conducting research in 09/10 in S.E. Nebraska. He received some cars from a junk yard. He was looking at what kind of barrier a trunk will form on colonizing insects.
OBJECTION BY JA - bolstering - SUSTAINED
Goal of study was to place pig bodies in the trunks and allow them to decompose to see what insect activity happens. He used a Ford Probe, not a Sunfire. The vehicle in the photo is the most intact of those he used.
He inspected the Pontiac Sunfire in 07/10. He looked at the trunk to see what kind of barrier
OBJECTION BY JA - expertise in trunk condition - OVERRULED.
The trunk of the Sunfire when he inspected it had the liner removed. He was looking for spaces or gaps or unsealed places that could allow an insect to pass through.
The car in his study is well sealed and in factory condition. He had pigs killed and placed them in the trunk of the vehicle in September and closed the trunk. He then waited, watched for insect colonization. He checked it daily. Weather was cool and rainy. The cooler it is, the more it suppresses insect activity. Rain also suppresses.
Next photo - taken through the back windshield (Exhibit D-AX). What you see is dead flies lining the back window ledge - blow flies - most common flies that colonize at a dead body
OBJECTION BY JA - time frame?
This photo was taken on Day 10 of the study.
How does this relate to FL weather?
OBJECTION BY JA - not qualified to make estimate - HHJBP - lets move on
If the temp is hotter, there is more bug activity. It is cooler in Nebraska.
The flies are blow flies - the most important flies to a forensic entomologist. Blow flies key in on dead animals. They show up in minutes to hours from death. They are outside and you don't notice them, but if you have a heart attack and die, they will be on you in a second. Fastest he's seen is 13 seconds.
Flies trapped in car were not there initially. Car was closed, windows up. The fact the flies are dead in the car is important. A fly that gains access to a sealed environment - the adult flies don't fight their way out.
Photo - Exhibit D-AW. This shows decomposed remains of pig when he opened the trunk on Day 11. White spots are maggots that have fed on pig and are actively crawling away from the pig and looking for a place to pupate. Decompositional fluid ring showing, extensive tissue loss - fly colonization starts in head and moves it way down. The maggot activity has caused disarticulation of skull. Some flies were attracted to the pig when he opened the trunk. Black material is decomp fluid - combo of body fluid, bacterial waste, maggot waste, maggot secretion. Is the stain distinguishable?
OBJECTION BY JA - stain is not Dr.'s expertise - OVERRULED
VOIR DIRE BY JA:
What expertise are you bringing to talk about the fluid in the picture. Years and years of observation. He has never analyzed the fluid.
HHJBP - OBJECTION OVERRULED.
Decomp fluid - most studies and cases have been in outdoor environments. The fluid goes into the ground and is very distinguishable. In cases like this with a mat or carpet, it is very noticeable.
OBJECTION BY JA - another discovery issue
SIDEBAR #4 (10:39)
06-17-2011, 10:49 AM
SIDEBAR # 4 OVER (10:39-10:49)
Jury sent out
06-17-2011, 11:04 AM
Huntington - JB - tests can be done to suspected body fluid or soil assoc with decomp fluid.....
HHBP said his report is not included in discovery
HHBP all he needs - show to him in report or deposition.....what opinion he is going to give then let the atty's argue.....
1/28/11 depo - pg 31 line 9-17...asked specifically decomp seen in trunk - hour, day or week sufficient to see...in FL in couple days see decomp saturate liner of the trunk.....straining and saturate carpet liner and fluid....
JA - any other opinion - (counsel is busy texting)
HHBP - do NOT want editorial comments - could care less what JB is doing or not doing all concerned with is proffer whether or not in his report vs. his depo is violation of court order....do not care if JB is standing on head or one leg....folks lets be professional
JB ask question you were supposed to profer to see if this violates court order.....
JB if body to decompose in car...what type fluid....what expect to see a day or two from decomp...the decomp fluid leaches from body has blackish stain....it will soak thru carpet liner into pad underneath....in a day or two hot temps - rapid bloat....insect activity - body fluids leech rapid - rupture of skin surface of the body..
JB -slightly expand upon the qustion
JA - it is not similar to answer he gave ...he now says he can identify color of fluid is no way in his depo....what occurs with decomp fluid not in his depo....outside of his forensic entomology - only other reference he made to trunk is pg 32 acknowledge detect foul odor.....object - to violate court order - and completely outside of his expertise...
JB -he didn't ID color of decomp fluid - but decomp stain.....see a sort of decomp fluid staining saturating carpet liner in trunk...hundreds of other maggots - not outside of his area expertise - Dr. Neil Haskell testified - now argue an entomology is not qualified to answer now..
HHBP - Dr. Haskell testified
JB he testified about different stages of decomp - describe complete decomp involved...
JA - no object to this witness to generality - object to stain of decomp look like and doesn't look like
JB - Dr. Haskell took step further testified decomp and napkins in trash decomp - don't understand one expert can testify but another can not...
HHBP - go to pg .28.....read pages 28-32.....after read both pages - you tell me both of you how similar or dissimilar to Dr. Haskell
06-17-2011, 11:10 AM
HHbP reading from depo-
JB = agreed both experts in field have been questioned about decomp
HHBP - what is surprise Mr. Ashton
JA - now trying to describe stain in the trunk ability to id' stain in trunk....doesn't claim to id adipocere - now witness claim whether stain in trunk is decomp or has to be a particular color - outside of expertise - he is entomologist
HHBP - what did Dr. Haskell say?
JA - can't off top head ever ask him about the stain - don't recall that he did....never asked him to ID stain - never shown exhibit never shown to him.....to his best recollection
JB - testified as decomp - he rendered opinion he thought stain was...
HHBp - let me pull his testimony on the 11th.... Dr. H. if you need to step down now go ahead...
Dr. Huntington leaves
06-17-2011, 11:21 AM
HHBP asks atty's to come up and read from his and start to scroll from page 14....
CM, JB and JA all reading ...JB and CM point to something and leave JA to read.....AJ walks down from bench....CM looking at evidence packages....JB walking around courtroom...
HHBP - anything else
JB - nothing from defense
JA - nothing about the stain - no problem with witness talking about ....if not in depo or report....
HHBP - it does not violate court order....Dr Haskell was asked....the area of subject matter was decomp was there not earthshattering info....permit the Dr. to voice his opinion - if jury finds him to be an expert - subspecialty of insects.....MR. Baez....do not get too enthused to make him an expert in something he is not......
Mr. Ashton you can question him about since you said you did not know...vs. total exclusion in a sub-specialty he is an expert in.
JA = the phenothaline test is outside his expertise - not serology
HHBP - you can ask him about it - there are tests to conduct for certain things - as far as details of those test but administer those tests are something different.....without determine his experience would be asking to guess...
06-17-2011, 11:22 AM
JA - experience in stains identification - observed
identify stains on carpet.....
Huntington - stains on carpet - dark blackish stains
06-17-2011, 11:39 AM
JURY NOT IN COURTROOM
HHJBP - at some point it may be helpful that any subsequent experts that may appear - I'd like their report.
PROFFER BY JB:
Based on your experience is the stain easily distinguishable. Anyone with experience would be able to look at it and smell it and tell. There are also presumptive tests such as phenolphthalein.
Were you questioned about this study during your depo? Yes.
OBJECTION BY JA - it speaks for itself.
JB - it may depend on the interpretation of questions by counsel.
HHJBP - All I need are his opinions. Either show it to me in his report or his deposition. What opinion is he going to give? Attorneys can then argue whether that was disclosed.
1/28/11 deposition shown to judge. Judge - go ahead
JB - he is asked there about the decomp in trunk relative to his study.
JA - have we finished listening to the opinion of the witness. Obviously he is not qualified to talk about the phenol. I'll wait - counsel is busy texting.
HHJBP - I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR EDITORIAL COMMENTS. LET'S STICK TO THE FACTS. I CARE LESS WHAT MR. BAEZ MAY BE DOING OR NOT DOING. ALL I AM CONCERNED WITH AT THIS TIME IS THE PROFFER AND WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS IN HIS REPORT VS HIS DEPO IS A VIOLATION OF THIS COURT'S ORDER. I DO NOT CARE IF MR. BAEZ IS STANDING ON HIS HEAD, STANDING ON ONE LEG, LETS JUST STICK WITH THE FACTS AND BE PROFESSIONAL. NOW, MR. BAEZ ASK HIM THE QUESTION
JB - If a body was to decompose in a car - what type of fluid, what would you expect to see of the decomp fluid?
The decomp fluid has a blackish staining quality to it. In a car trunk it will seep into the liner and then into the liner underneath. In a day or two, in these temperatures, the body fluids leach rather rapidly due to rupturing of the skin surface3 of the body.
JB - that is what I believe is a slightly expanded answer that he gave in his depo.
JA - It is not even similar to any answer he gave, or opinion he gave. He apparently now wants to state he can identify the fluid compared to other fluids. Not in depo. His statements and opinions of what occurs with decomp fluid is not in his depo or report and completely outside his area of expertise. The only other reference he made to the trunk is at page 32 where he acknowledges even 2 years later detecting the fowel odor.
JA - OBJECT as in violation of court order and outside of expertise.
JB - not outside expertise - Dr. Haskel testified to these things.
HHJBP - refresh my memory as to what Dr. Haskel testified to.
JB - he testified about the different stages of decomp, what happens to the body and the insects and how they relate to decomp.
JA - No objection to testimony of generalities. Objection is to specific talk about stains of decomp. Not discussed in depo.
JB - Dr. Haskel also identified the stain as decomp fluid and the napkins and paper towels were decomp fluid. I don't understand the distinction.
HHJBP - go to page 28 of depo - BOTH OF YOU. Read pages 28 thru 32. After you read, then tell me, both of you (I guess we'll get a tale of 2 cities) as to what this doctor testified in his deposition. Tell me how similar or dsisimilar this was to Dr. Haskel's testimony.
HHJBP - On line 15 of page 28 there is a question - is there any evidence here that one might have cleaned the trunk of decomp - based on insects NO - based on my experience of decomp in a trunk - I don't now that you could clean it up with paper towels. Any evidence of clean up? Paper towel?
JB - I agree court both experts have been questioned thoroughly
JA - Surprise is the witness's claim that he can identify a stain as to whether it is or is not decomp. Change in testimony. Nothing in report or depo to indicate this. Nothing in report about color of decomp. Completely outside his area of expertise. He is an entomologist. Dr. Haskel talked about decomp fluid in napkins. He doesn't recall asking him about the stain or to identify it.
JB - Dr. Haskel testified extensively about the areas of decomp.
HHJBP - pulling Dr. Haskel's testimony up now.
HHJBP - Doctor if you need to stand down, you can. Witness leaves witness stand.
JB - May I assist the court?
HHJBP - You'll get a chance - let me assist myself for now.
JB - referring court to 9:11 a.m. where Dr. Haskel began to discuss the stages of decomp.
(ICA whispering with DCS and CM)
HHJBP wants them to come up and to look at his screen - starting on page 14. YA'LL CAN READ JUST AS WELL AS I CAN. JA, JB and CM at Judge's computer. CM leaves, JB leaves - leaving JA alone and looking confused. JA leaves and HHJBP comes back to the bench.
HHJBP - Anything else? Nothing from defense. Mr. A - nothing about the stain.
HHJBP - Court founds that it does not violate the Court's order. Dr. Haskel talked about decomp. While I'll agree with JA, every opinion is not expressed - the area and subject matter is decomposition and it is not a major earth-shattering opinion and to disallow at this point due to minor inconsistencies would be error Whether the jury finds him to be an expert.... Mr. Baez, don't get too enthused and try to make him into an expert in something he is not If you think there will be other areas of surprise, I will permit you at this time, Mr. Ashton, to question him, since you are saying you did not know which would be the remedy for this.
JA - Specifically the issue of the phenolphthalein test is outside his area of expertise.
HHJBP - you can ask him that.
Witness returns to stand.
HHJBP - state may question.
EXAMINATION BY JA:
Stain identification experience revolves around a paper he publishes regarding the identification of grave soil analysis which is decomp fluid. Stains on carpet or fabrics? My experience is watching and observing decomp of animals and humans on carpets - 20 or 30 times. Carpet colors? I don't know off hand. Will you testify that human decomp stains have a color? Decomp stains do have an identifiable color quality - a dark blackish stain. Literature to support color? Literature on case study or histories will refer to a blackish stains around the body. Can't give a year or location. Beneke (sp) has published case studies regarding human remains in indoor environments - the color is mentioned. Only one he knows. He has not physically examined the carpet in this case and is not prepared to say what the stain is from. Other qualities of decomp stains? In this case he was going to talk about the smell and texture - greasy stain from body fats. In how many cases were the bodies in a bag - if there is a decomp stain in the carpet and the body was in a bag... In his personal experience - zero.
HHJBP to Witness - when did you arrive at this opinion? Are you going to give us an opinion on the stain in the car in questions?
I think I was attempting to describe what one would typically see where there had been a body in a trunk.
HHJBP - what would you expect to see?
What I would expect to see is shown in the picture. You would expect an obvious decomp stain from body fluid, lots of insect activity, dead insects, migrating maggots....
HHJBP - Is there any variation in those stains because of cleaning?
In my experience and others, if you think it's there, it's not there. It's either there or it's not. Decomp fluid staining is very obvious. When these scense are cleaned, the staining does not clean. He is not aware of any method you could use to remove that stain.
HHJBP - have you ever testified to this in courts before.
I've testified on decomp, but car trunks only this case. No other testimony than this because he has not been asked.
HHJBP - Your field is insects?
Especially those in decompositional remains.
(Signal lost from courtroom)
HHJBP - his evaluation of pictures of the stain?
If it were a decomp stain, there was substantial cleaning - professional cleaning. Decomp stains do not go away easily.
HHJBP - did you share that opinion?
With the defense, yes - shortly after I viewed the photo in 2009.
HHJBP - What did you share?
I said there was nothing I could see that would indicate a decomposing body had been in this vehicle.
HHJBP - Did you include that in your report?
He did not.
HHJBP - Why?
I was speaking specifically to the insects.
HHJBP - Were you told that the Court expected all opinions that one would give to be memorialized so as not to be a surprise to either side.
Yes, at some point.
HHJBP - Were you asked to do an addendum.
I said my first report was preliminary and I have not turned in a final report because I have not seen all the evidence.
HHJBP - Why should I permit that testimony when the defense knew in 2008 and did not disclose that even after the court ordered and we've had numerous conversations about disclosures? It's one thing for him to talk about decompositional fluids and that process, but it is quite evident to have him give an opinion on the stain in the trunk?
JB to Dr. Huntington - did there come a time when I asked you to witness a report. Yes. Was that because of the court order I shared with you? Yes. Did I ask you to issue a report on ALL of your opinions. Yes. Did I ask you to leave anything out? No. Were you asked if you were going to render an opinion as to the stain in THIS car? No. Was it your understanding that you would be speaking of the decomp fluid and the stains that you would expect to see? Yes. I assumed I would be speaking in generalities about what I would or would not expect if there is a body in the trunk.
JB - he is only going to talk about generalities.
JA - Stain identification was not known to the state and JA would have gotten numerous experts regarding the color.
HHJBP - I'm not too concerned about the color of the stain. If it was not a stain, it would not have a color to it. A stain is a discoloration of the original color. That's a logical conclusion that one can come to. HE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO TESTIFY TO, SINCE IT WAS NOT DISCLOSED, IS HIS OPINION ABOUT THE STAIN IN THE VEHICLE IN QUESTION; BUT HE CAN TESTIFY TO DECOMP STAINS IN GENERAL - unless someone opens the door where we can drive elephants through the cracks.
Jury coming back (they were out from 10:49 - 11:39)
06-17-2011, 11:40 AM
HHBP are you going to give us a statement about the stain in the Pontiac Sunfire trunk
Huntington - expect to see stain in the trunk - obvious stain ....lots insect activity, puparila cases and fragments and maggots ....
HHBP -any variation in those type of stains in things you might expect to see obviously because of cleaning and other process...
Dr.H- if you think it is there or have question....then it is not there.....decomp fluid stain is very obvious.....when people decomp in a house - where stain clean floor or carpets - those not cleaned they are removed...
HHBP - have you ever testified on this in courts before?
Dr. H - not on this particular topic - nobody ever asked me...
HHBP - your field is insects
Dr. H - yes those deal with decomp remains..
HHBP - train or experience what makes you qualified to talk about stain and what you expect to find and how relate to this case
dr. H - forensic entomology with decomp body - knowledge of taphony - decomp products process......
professional cleaning -decomp stains do not go away easy.
HHBP - did you share that opinion with the defense?
Dr. H - yes shortly after review photo - 2008 or 2009.
HHBP - what did you share with them
Dr. H - nothing I can see to indicate to me decomp body in this veh.
HHBP did you include that in your report?
Dr. H - no decomp with insects
HHBP - anything with stain
Dr. H - speaking specific to insects
HHBP - were you told court expected all opinions one would give to be memorialized
Dr. H - at some point yes he was -may have been after submitted report- prelim report would submit final report when all insect evidence look @ - haven't looked @ all evidence no final report done
HHBP - when and who on DT you told info about stain in 2008 or 2009
Dr. H - assume Mr. Baez
HHBP - don't assume - wanna know who
Dr. H -Mr. Baez - he is one I talked to....
HHBP - ok - now why should I permit that testimony when the DT knew back in 2008 and did not disclose that even after court order had numerous conversations about disclosure.....it's one thing for him to talk about decomp fluids and that process but quite evident to have him give opinion about stain in trunk according to him he shared ....
JB - did there come a time you were asked to issue a report -because court order....write down and issue report on all of your findings...yes to all
JB didn't ask to leak things out or put in
were you asked to render opinion in this stain in the car? NO....decomp fluids and stains expect to see in trunk of car if there was a dead body
Dr. H - thought speak in generality what he would expect to see or not
JB - never was our intention ....generality is all talking about.....apologise if court thought we would take that to next level....never our intention
JA - identify stain...ask him about it....numerous expert witness about the color of the stain ...I did not because
HHBP - all stains have color - a stain is a discoloration of natural color - no stain no discolor could not tell there was any stain....not permit to testify to since not disclose is his opinion about the stain....he can talk about it in the depo about decomp stains in general one expects to see or not....unless mistakenly open door to drive elephants thru crack...ok all on same page?
bring jury back in
06-17-2011, 11:56 AM
JB what happens when body decomp.
Dr. H - what happens generally when a body decomps in a closed container....same day what see numerous maggots moving away from decomp remains....pupae - see maggots pupated already brownish redish seed looking ...burrow away and into the carpet ...actual pupae into carpet pile itself - think they are hiding....dense flies...cant' get away....decompositional ring from the body....this portion trails away from body...as body leave body hold decomp with them see little trail ....decomp fluid kills grass around it....
JB - cant take paper towels and wipe it off?
Dr. H don't think you could -took crisco melted it on stove left it burn and decomp ...sticky and oily and professional cleaners can't get it out..
JB -@ body scenes - decomp removed from carpet....
Dr. H - never known of a case where carpet is cleaned in Nebraska (object- relelvance)
sustain - rephrase
Jb - give us relevant example (same question same object)
HHBP - stain in trunk of car
Dr. H - stain in trunk of car - reason these vehicles used in this study (object-example overrule @ this point)
never going to be another use for these vehicles to smash them...owner gave these veh. ...(object to question asked)
HHBP - just respond to trunk stain
Dr. H - these carpets were never going to be cleaned - junk cars never be used again - cannot use rental car if they were to be used again.
JB what else tell us what you learned in study?
Dr. H - what I found with study is barrier with car ....trunk of cars poses very little barrier to insects that colonize body = blow flies show up very quickly after death...act similar to people with food - they are very picky....(audio cut out)
cool temps insects experience - so many of them in veh. in such a short period of time
JB - what was entomological evidence in trunk early colonizers in trunk? NO....
Dr. H - inside trash bag a leg of a blow fly - similar to that not sure categorize it to that family or not....one leg of a blow fly doesn't mean anything - could be found inthe courtroom if look hard enough.....in this example car trunk seal container -assume body in car trunk -many flies attracted to it...not one fly....(object - overrule)
assume body in car trunk expect to find hundreds or thousands of blow flies, each has 6 legs - 6000 legs - fly doesn't loose a leg and get out...they get in there they die there and ......also to see them in passenger compartment....absence of those the fly leg means nothing since it was found in a bag of trash (object -sustained)
what insects observed - trunk and bag of trash - humpback or scuttle flies...fruit flies small eat all organic material...very common often in our homes - generalist flies....almost all of them recovered from inside trash bag - expected in bag of garbage -in his opinon don't mean anything of forensic value - given trash in trunk - they mean even less....same as what you find when take trash out.
Megaselius scolaris - large number associated with anything evidentary value? dont require much food because so small....numbers associated with garbage and trash doesn't think something large decomposing in trash.....
when they show up to decomp human remains - generally show up late in decomp - one of the last flies to colonize decomp body....
06-17-2011, 11:56 AM
11:39 - Jury back
DIRECT EXAMINATION OF DR. HUNTINGTON BY JB:
Witness going bak to easel. Defense's Exhibit AY - stain resulting from decomp fluid. As things decompose - the photo shows a particular corner of his study vehicle trunk. This shows a typical scenario of insect movement and decompositional processes in a trunk. This is Day 11. Photo shows numerous maggots moving away from the remains. Corner shows pupated maggots that a burrowing under the trunk liner and into the carpet. Also shows dead flies and decompositional ring that comes from the body. A portion trails away - maggots pull the fluid with them as they leave the body. Decomp fluid will kill grass in outside situations. He did not think you could wipe it up with paper towels. Fluid is very greasy and sticky. He did not even think professional cleaners could get it out. Carpets at scenes are removed and destroyed. An example....
OBJECTION - SUSTAINED.
Give us some examples.
OBJECTION - SUSTAINED.
Can you give relavent example.
OBJECTION - SUSTAINED.
Can you give helpful example
Can you give an example of a stain in the trunk of a car? The reason...
OBJECTION - OVERRULED.
These cars were used because there was never going to be another use for these vehicles. The owner gave me these vehicles....
OBJECTION - HHJBP - just talk about the stain. Let's get to the point.
What else did you learn in your study?
What I found was the barrier in the trunk poses very little barrier to the insects that colonize bodies. The blow flies that show up very quickly act very similar to the way people might with their own food - they are very picky. The flies will only colonize a body for a very short period of time. They gained access to the vehicle rapidly after death, within a day or so.
In this case, there were no early colonizers found in the trunk of the car. A leg similar to a blow fly was found by Dr. Haskel in the garbage bag. In his opinion, one leg does not mean anything. They could probably find one in this courtroom. Assuming there is a body in a car trunk, there will be many....
OBJECTION - OVERRULED.
If we assume there is a body in a car trunk, you would expect to find hundreds if not thousands of these adult blow flies. They have 6 legs each. A fly does not enter a closed container, lose a leg, then leave. He would expect to find hundreds, if not thousands of insects not only in the trunk, but in the passenger compartment as well. Their presence is to be expected in a bag of garbage. They are the sort of insects you would expect to find in your garbage.
Because these insects are so small, they don't require much food. He has seen hundreds emerge from a very small piece of material. The numbers in the trash bag are not remarkable.
11:55 Lunch recess until 1:30
06-17-2011, 01:46 PM
Afternoon Session Friday June 17, 11
Dr. Huntington w/JB -
HHBP hopes jury had a good lunch (hopefully they didn't have nausea from this morning testimony IMO)
JB - items in trunk of Pontiac Sunfire - opinion of insect activity regards to the garbage bag - anything found outside garbage bag that was of evidentiary value (object-sustain rephrase)
any evidence outside of garbarge bag - insect sweepings ...2 samples outside garbage bag that contained insect material...there was very low number of insect recovered outside - same inside the bag very low numbers.
difference between trash and garbage - specific Webster dictionary - not in dictionary of entomology - he uses them interchangably
aware of paper towels in the trash....maggot activity? paper towels did contain a number of humpback scuttlefly empty puparia cases.....articles in the trash not surprised @ all...maggot looks for spot to pupate hidden, tight fitting ....paper towel has lots nooks and crannies to pupate - often use paper towels in the lab for them to pupate in....
that paper towel used for anything to clean up something that was not a dead body??
specific insects pupate on that area - anthing on that paper towel to see if it was used to clean up decomp material or anything else (object - overrule)
pupation site -ie: paper towel - it associates itself other than food source....they leave source - presence of them indicative of an absence of food.....empty coco0n stage - flies already emerged as adults leave puparia behind....
not during feeding stage - maggots fed pupated and they left - empty crysallis on a tree is analagous....
JB stumbles 3 times for questions....
what attracks these insects to garbage (object-sustain)
what attracted these insects to this trash - tobacco spit...body fluid....decomposes itself these particular type flies very attracted to these....he saw a piece of meat in boloney container.....his professional opinion tobacco spit
these flies are very small - restricted food sources - found them in sealed plastic bucket used to hold anatomical specimines - breeding in there - doesnt suprise him @ all.
06-17-2011, 02:00 PM
Lunch over at 1:30
OUTSIDE THE PRESENCE OF THE JURY
JB - it appears that JA is going to attempt to inquire of Dr. H as to whether he was a student of Dr. Haskel. JB feels that is improper bolstering of Dr. Haskel.
JA - who he studied under is part of his qualifications. Doesn't feel it is a question he should not be allowed to ask.
HHJBP - well, it depends. The reason I say that - it depends on whether or not the defense attempts to discredit the qualifications or the opinions - well, discredit the qualifications of Dr. Haskel; and if it does, then the rule is that you can bolster, and more specifically - under Mr. Mason's book - Ehardt... It really depends on what happens now.
JA - These 2 experts may have different opinions, but I do not intend on challenging the qualifications of Dr. Neal Haskel.
HHJBP - It really depends, and I will have to see at the end of the conclusion of your direct examination of your witness, whether or not that question is fair game. So, at that point ya'll can approach the bench and I will say yes or no.
HHJBP - also remember one thing, you went into his qualifications regarding diplomat and the express purpose of that was to talk about his abilities to testify or not testify and there may be some relevancy as to whether or not he was a "student". We'll get to that in the end. We can engage in a long intellectual discussion and debate on that issue.
JURY RETURNED AT 1:36.
DIRECT EXAMINATION OF DR. HUNTINGTON BY JB - continued
I think where we left off - we were discussing the items in the trunk of the sunfire and you gave us your opinion as to the insect activity with regard to the garbage bag. Was there anything that you were aware of that was outside of the garbage bag of evidentiary value.
OBJECTION - SUSTAINED
There were a few (2) samples found outside of the garbage bag, as well as the sweepings. There was a very low number of articles of insect evidence recovered outside of the bag - same as inside - just very low numbers.
Difference between trash and garbage? Thinks it is more of a colloqueal or regional. As an entomologist he does not see a difference. He uses them interchangeably.
Regarding the trash, paper towels were found in trash. They contained a number of hump back or scuttle fly pupary. There was no live material associated with them - just empty casings. Given the articles in the trash bag, it did not surprise him at all. When a maggot looks for a spot to pupate, they look for hidden tight fitting locations. A crumpled up paper towel has a lot of nooks and crannies. He often uses pieces of paper towel in the lab for insects to pupate in.
Does the fact that you have this specific insects pupating in that area, is there anything on the paper towels that they were used in any way to clean up decomp.
OBJECTION - beyond the expertise - OVERRULED
When you find a pupation site such as a paper towel, it associates itself with something other than a food source. If there was a food source there, he would not expect to find them. Their presence on the towel indicates an absence of food material. They were in the closed or empty stage. The flies had already emerged.
Was there anything that you identified from any of the materials that have any indications - I'll strike that.
About the garbage, what attracts these insects to garbage? These specific flies,.....
OBJECTION - not relevant - SUSTAINED
What in your opinion attracted these insects to this trash? Based on the contents of this trash bag, there was a number of cans of tobacco spit. That is a body fluid that decomposes itself These flies are very attracted to this type of material. Also, it appeared that there was a dried up piece of meat in a balogna container which could have also accounted for it.
Would that be even if the tobacco was inside a closed container? Yes, they are very small flies and are attracted to very restricted food sources.
Photos - enlargement of photos in evidence - S-123 and S-121.
JA - can we project the image onto the screen so we can all see? JB - no we will be jumping back and forth (sure does appear JA is trying to rattle JB at every opportunity). JA standing right over JB while he is questiioning the witness.
When he first inspected the garbage, visually with photos, he had access to both of these. He spent more time looking at 33 - dry garbage.
OBJECTION BY JA - OVERRULED
What would be the difference -
JA - I'm sorry this set up is not good. I cannot see the photo. JB - you can hold them. JA - no I need to see what you are pointing at. HHJBP - move on!
What is the difference of the bugs being attracted to the dry vs the wet garbage? The flies are going to be more attracted to the damp wet garbage than dry - primarily to do with larval habits. When a fly lays eggs, they dry up very quickly and have to be in an environment where they don't dry up easily and the maggots don't feed well on dry material.
How could they recover maggots or insect activity on dry garbage?
OBJECTION BY JA - OVERRULED
The evidence that is visible in the dry garbage photos is the remains of the insects that were feeding in the damp garbage.
It doesn't have to be a substantial amount of material to draw their attention. Flies are attracted to the smell of decomp - which is the process of being eaten. The food items have bacteria on them that are eating them. The bacteria itself begins the decomp process and emits the initial odor that attracts the flies.
Any other items in the trash the bugs would find interesting?
Is there anything inconsistent between what you found in the trash and the entire trunk which would lead you to believe this is anything other than the result of a bag of trash being left in the car for 2-3 weeks. He would expect to find the same thing in a bag of trash such as this in anyone's backyard.
Shifting focus to the Suburban Drive site - from the evidence that you reviewed, do you have any opinions as to - Let me rephrase - what does the insect evidence tell us there?
The insect material associated with the remains are what you would expect to find associated with remains at that location at that time of year. The early colonizing flies were missing. Their absence is unusual in a case where a body is recovered outdoors in that nature. A body that is readily accessible - the absence of the early colonizing insects is unusual - they should have been there and there is no good reason for them not to be there. What that indicates is that the body has been moved from some other location other than where it was discovered - certainly shows a postmortem movement.
Are there other things that can tell where a body decomposed.
OBJECTION BY JA
SIDEBAR #5 (1:59)
06-17-2011, 02:06 PM
Dr. H - indicators why body was moved...when body decomps - research from trunk...body decomp fluids come out ....in an outdoor leach into soil...changes bio..animal, microorganisms, kill off plant or grasses...too much fertilizer - too much nitrogen.....
soil biotic communities within cell structure - recent studies biotic -living or a-biotic non-living structures....look @ those can tell something that decompose....refereced Dr. Dave Carter research - object- sustain!
stain area on ground - include body in a couple of plastic bags - no breach to bags - entirely sealed - no fluid can escape - not expect to see that fluid on soil...if tear those fluids would spill out.....death scene outdoors - stain is where to look @ to describe the scene or lovcation
06-17-2011, 02:27 PM
JA objects Dr. H testify to botany....out of scope object - overrule
did you find early colonizers within the bag - blow flies 3 examples - early colonizers found in area A where remains found...only early colonizer was from the bag itself....reinforces that the body was moved....after decomp process in bag or container you would expect some insects to made it pupal stage moved with the body...not finding them if the body would have decomposed at that site would have been found with the body and in much greater numbers....
Cross exam - Dr. H - JA
do mean to suggest this body was fully skeletonized and then moved....early stages of decomposed....when said body decomposed elsewhere - primarily refer to early stages of decomp defined as ......number ways to describe most taphony between 3-24 stages ...he described 5 stages -fresh,bloat, early/active, advance decay and remains.
early - fresh and or bloat and end of active decay possible.....how long does it take on a child's body....not sure research how many degree days on a small child between 2 and 3 years...accumulated degree days - math avg. temp times number of days....object- finish answer....
fill it in for us...
accumulated degree day average daily temp minus the threshhold temp....it is important there are some scientists who don't think you need to do that.....minimum base threshhold temp - there is a temp at which bio process stops - depending on the process depends on the temp ...math construct no real bio meaning other than math works use correct temp.....2 days @ 90 degrees? depends on bio process or insect species....decomp is temp dependant....used accumulated dgree days.....2 days @ 90 would be 180 accumulatd degree days....in terms of decomp or anything a min threshold of zero makes math easy ....not based on any specific model....could say min 20 degrees has no bio construct just math......
2 90 degree days equal how many 60 degree days.....1 1/2 averg temps...
2 days @ 90 degrees would equal 3 days of 60 degrees days...this body was at another location before moved to suburban drive? number of days....hard to say environment...if body was in fridge 0 could be months....very hot outside lets say today is day one (Yea! GO JA!)
95 degrees today - probably around 2-3 or maybe 4 days....with assumptions in mind body placed in finally found location - assume those conditions....remained in that location from that point foreward...if they were placed directly with that scene it would be consistently....nothing bout the scene that would refute that? he is hesitating but consistent with a lot of scenarios but yes......body was in another location as far as temp is assumed .....early colonizers unable to get to it? NO...there were early colonizers on thebody in very low numbers...had some access...at some point.....object- overrule
Dr. H insects had access to body in early decomp - body moved some point thereafter....body be inaccessable except for very late stage.....not talking about precise window it doesn't go from insects do like the body then dont - depends on the circumstances....definate window loose attraction to remains for food resource for offspring not attracted or colonize remains unfavorable to their offspring...@ some point flies switch off when remains no longer attractive....not attracted @ night time...lay eggs during day....can be the next day they won't....early colonizers on it and someone washed it off? didn't say that ...if body was available to them why weren't they there? not @ scene his opinion of post mortem movement - insects go with body that is their food source....if food source was with the remains ...where body was what it was contained in......between time eggs laid and larvae the body was moved? a couple examples work in this example....body moved late in feeding stages of maggots - left teh body in large numbers ony a few remain.....one scenario take much longer....
2nd large number of maggots remeoved andf then body transported.
3rd large number of maggots placed in bags and then moved....
4th scenario? body was inaccessible to flies? body had to be accessible to flies....early colonizers were associated with the body ...they did have access.....
JA grabs picture of bugs...flies gain access how long did it take...not simultaneous they all come @ once....not possible the body kept certain time inaccess to early colonizer then moved ....not possible? anything is possible....talk aboutthe one I asked it is possible? do you recall giving depO? recall giving 2 depos...
Dr. Haskell statement report - look @ his report
06-17-2011, 02:36 PM
JA up to show Dr. H something in Dr. Haskell's report from the scene....looking thru report.....witness strains to see report.....CM yawning and stiffling yawns....kc cocking head to side....JA found reference in report
JA - pg 61 line 7....general if you agree with Dr. Haskell...depo 1/28th? read what Dr. Haskell said...reduced #'s of early initial colonizers body was stored.....
Jb objects ? overrule
JA ask him to follow question --is there any thing w/Dr. H report that you disagree or take issue...the only part not alot to disagree with....only part jumps out at me ....very similar or same report of what mine would look like given the same evidence....are you now saying you disagree with Dr. Haskell report - that is one possible ....Dr H expanding on other possibles....depends on circumstances - environmental conditions....is there something you know now that you didn't know in Jan of this year? Object - overrule ...anything different as far as you know in environment - agree with his consistent body deposited end June or early July 2008....if body kept in early decomp from early colonizers would that place smell? yes if allowed to decomp in absence of early decomp...that place wold stink and would not be able to get stink out....human decomp is very recognizable can't clean it out cant get it out....whever decomp difficult to ever get it out....examine 6/2010 2 years after trunk liner removed no garbage in car trunk - removed more than 2 years before....correct? object- sidebar!
06-17-2011, 02:48 PM
HHBP - you may continue
JA when you looked @ trunk in 7/2010 - still a smell in the trunk yes....knowing garbage in trunk when in your experience bag of garbage in trunk for a week....left one in nebraska? walk past a dumpster in nebraska? yes other states/ yes....
talk about your experiment.....step down...put way over here....one of 6 - jb wants to get closer.....hired 9/2010 this experiment created specifically for this case? no it was not....have longstanding history to examine barrier effects from fly colony....many bodies recovered veh. trunks...case studies ....he had occassion to meet owner of tow company with junk cars...can I experiment veh he volunteered.....did you tell JB you were doing this experiment? yes....this experiment in back of his mind a long time...did do some side experimenting in this specific case....not specific modeled for this case...how many bodies for 2 or 3 days body in trnk.....never.....all of your opinions what you would expect to see from this one experiment? no ...case studies in lit....how many of those involve small children? not aware of any small child....wrapped in blanket ...stuffed in garbage bag...stuffed in another garbage bag? object - overrule - kc lauighs!!!! no
why didn't you wrap your pigs in a blanket? laughter in courtroom
didn't focus on that specific focus on trunk restriction...there are other studies pigs in a blanket ....pigs in a blanket in a bag/ not a fair representation of Caylee - she was wrapped in a blanket and 2 bags....
why he was doing relevance to this case...attractive early colonize access veh. trunk...only included one of many barriers between fly and Caylee body....had he wrapped pig in blanket...placed in multiple trash bag, in laundry bg....flies penetrated could trunk - if flies can smell body...in this case wrapped in ...they can almost certainly ge to the body...never had experience body in trunk reserach....
1 body in plastic - 1 case study ...body recovered in Europe head of vic placed in garbage bags placed in trunk of veh...in the "boot" of the veh....based upon 1 study told jury no way bag could be a barrier....n ot what he meant to imply many studies look @ efficiency of trashbags.....
06-17-2011, 02:57 PM
If smell can get out of bag - it is not air tight - female fly will deposit flies on outside layer...odor emit from bag--lay eggs @ initial opening - when hatch they will crawl in very good @ getting in small spaces...
did you experiment on effects of chloroform on flies? (object-overrule) put chloroform to see how effect early colonizers NO....aware trunk air inidcate level of chloroform used to kill insects in hi concentrations.....it can kill them....
take hypothetical....body in trunk for a day or two - perhaps even placed there alive (object) dies in the trunk - large amts of chloroform on body or in air....effect on early colonizers infect thisdead body? do you know? no research on that specific topic...dose of chloroform has to be sufficiently hi to displace oxygen molecules ....if chlorofrom reacts as others chemicals do...commerical pesticides been used ...effect is very short lasting...change bio-chemistry of air and odor you change environment of early colonizers" (object- out of his....overrule) blowfly can detect parts per bilion...female smell food source far away...complete displacement of chemical cues.....doesn't change attractness of the flies? there shouldn't ....odor in chloroform in ppm is high ...he finds that highly unlikely ....whole displace of chlroform 100% replacement...proposing? no that is not what .....obvject - sustain
100% displace chemicals in the air molecules - extremely unlikely - chemical content of odor has changed...you don't have any idea what change has on early colonizers....dont know do you just answered that question....court reporter read it back.....
getting @ hearing the question the flies don't smell the odor same way you and I do...they pick up indiv. molecules of sufur compounds - change content of the air...chemicals floating around flies atracted to ...replace 1:1 to get over attractiveness....no studies on this/ how about chloroform? don't know....
paper towels in garbage - what was on it? do you know? don't know....do have a report can refer to it...report states ...report states - wants to refer to report
06-17-2011, 03:03 PM
read Dr. Vass report - pg 7
fatty acids ones palmetic, steric, mysteric, ....adipocere - grave wax on paper towels...didn't examine paper towels ...adipocere fat substance hydrogenated body fat ...product of some decomp ....cool temps and low O2 content....megaselius scalarius would be attracted to it...think attracted tobacco spit sealed in bottle....dont classify several cans of tobacco spit as a little bit....presence of flies on paper towels themselves...if the papert owels adipocere - not tend to pupate on or near their food source....photo of garbage....zoom in right here...this isthe container refer to in discussion with JB contain tobacco.....thiscontainer right here...small amt of brown substance.....one of several contain remnants of tobacco spit....point them out to me....touch screen ....vcan zoom...
06-17-2011, 03:04 PM
every one he has ever known spit tobaccco on the can lid spit with bits of tobacco...have items here actual.....lets take a look....
06-17-2011, 03:13 PM
DIRECT EXAMINATION OF DR. HUNTINGTON BY JB - continued
Indicators of what would lead you to believe the body was moved - the soil?
When a body decomposes, the body fluids come out of the body, and when it is outdoors, the decomp fluids will leach into the soil and changes the animal community. It was also kill the plant community in the area. When examining sites of decomp, there are relatively emergent fields in science that are looking at the composition of the soil itself to determine if it is a decomp site. A lot of this research is done at University of Nebraska....
OBJECTION - SUSTAINED
JB - so there is a stain on the ground where someone would decompose? Yes.
Would that include a body in a couple of plastic bags? If there is no breach to the bags, entirely sealed so that no fluid can escape, then he would not expect to find anything at the site. If there are holes in bag, fluids would leak out.
Examining a death scene outdoors, the stain is something he looks at to describe the scene. If a body is found outdoors and there is no staining...
OBJECTION - OVERRULED
Because you spend so much time looking at decomposing bodies, you come to look for these things. Anything unusual stands out.
Any other findings that would support this conclusion?
Were there early colonizers in the canvas bag? 3 puparial cases of colonizing blow flies. The only early colonizing insects at the site were in the bag itself. This reinforces the hypothesis that the remains were moved. If you have a body that has moved after decomp has begun, especially in a bag or container, you would expect some of the insects that have made the transition to pupal stage to be physically moved with the body. In this case not finding them away from the body reinforces that. They should have been found all over the place around the body in much greater numbers.
JB conferring with CM.
CROSS EXAMINATION BY JA:
Do you suggest this body fully skeletonized at another location? No I did not say that.
When he says the body decomposed elsewhere, he is primarily referring to the early stages of decomp which would be the fresh stage, bloat stage and possibly early active decomposition. On a child he could not give number of days to go through fresh and blow stage. He did not have the data available.
Accumulated degree days - average daily temp minus minimum base temp. Some scientists erroneously feel you do not need to do that. Minimum base temp is - a temp where biological processes stop.
2 days - average temp of 90 - he needs to know the average base temp. 180 accumulated degree days.
What is the equivalency between 2 90 degree days and 2 60 degree days. 1 90 degree day would accumulate 1.5 60 degree days.
At the scene, how long do you believe this body was at another location before it was moved to Suburban Drive? It is a hard thing to say because it depends on the environmental conditions at that site. JA - assume hot outside like it is now - 95 degrees. How many days before body moved? Probably 2 to 4 days.
He agreed that from that point on this body remained at that location from that point forward - assuming the remains were exposed to those conditions and no intermediary conditions. The scene is consistent with that scenario? He is hesitating because it is consistent with a lot of other scenarios too.
He agreed the body was in another location previously. That location - there were early colonizers present on the body in very low numbers so they had some access.
OBJECTION - OVERRULED
The insects had access to the body in early stages of decomp because they were there, and then the body was moved at some point thereafter.
There is a definite window where early colonizers lose attraction to the remains. They are not going to colonize remains not favorable to their offspring. At some point the flies decide the remains are no longer attractive and that point can be very distinct.
He did not say they were washed off.
Why aren't the early colonizers there? This is due to postmortem movement. Why didn't they stay with the body? Due to what the body is contained in, possibly.
A couple of scenarios - first that the body was moved late in the feeding stages of the maggots, meaning the early colonizers had left the body in large number with only a few remaining accounting for those found in the bag. Second - large numbers of maggots were removed from the body and the body was then transported. Third - a large number of maggots, the body was placed into the bags and then moved.
Fourth - the body was inaccesible to the flies? The body had to be accessible to the flies because they were found.
Regarding the decomposing pig picture - how long did it take the flies to appear? It is not simultaneous.
It is not possible the body was kept for a time not accessible to early colonizers? Anything is possible. He then stated "yes".
He gave two depositions in this case.
Regarding Dr. Haskel's opinion as to the lack of significant early colonizers.... Do you recall me asking if you agreed with Dr. Haskel's opinion? Please read Dr. Haskel's opinion.
OBJECTION BY JB - OVERRULED
He was asked in his depo if there is anything in Dr. Haskel's opinion of the scene that he disagreed with. His depo answer said that his report was very similar or the same as what his report would look like.
He was asked if he now disagreed with Dr. Haskel's statement that the body had been kept somewhere where early colonizing was not available. He said he agreed with it, he was just expounding with other possibilities.
Is there something about the environmental conditions ....
OBJECTION BY JB - OVERRULED
Is anything different about the environmental conditions? No.
Would you agree with Dr. Haskel that the evidence was consistent with the body being deposited there in June of July of 2008. Yes.
Is this body was kept somewhere away from early colonizers during early decomp? Yes, it would smell and you would not be able to get the smell out. He agreed the smell of decomposition is very recognizable. He agreed you can't get it out. It would smell bad and that smell would be difficult to get out.
When you examined the Sunfire in this case in July of 2010 (2 years later) after the trunk liner was removed and there was no garbage in the trunk.....
SIDEBAR #6 requested by JB (2:36-2:39?)
CROSS EXAM BY JA continued
When he viewed the trunk in 2010, he agreed there was a smell in the trunk. It was fairly week. Knowing there was once garbage in the trunk, he could associate it with that. He has never left a bag of garbage in a car trunk for a week and did not have that experience.
He was hired initially on Dec 11, 20-08. He began the experiment in September of 2010 - not specifically for this case. He had occasion to get the junk cars and then asked if he could do the experiment. He told Defense that he was going to do it. He has wanted to do this experiment for a long time.
Other cases with bodies in trunks - no other occasions.
Opinions regarding bodies decomposing in trunks was not just from experience in this case. There are numerous case studies. He is not aware of any that specify a small child wrapped in blankets and stuffed in a garbage bag.
OBJECTION - OVERRULED
WHY DIDN'T YOU WRAP YOUR PIGS IN A BLANKET? He did not wrap the pigs because that was not what he was looking at in this experiment. There are other studies that look at pigs in a blanket. In a bag? He doesn't know if that combination has been attempted.
What he was examining in the experiment was the flies' accessibility in the trunk. He did not include the barrier of blankets, laundry bag or trash bags. However, he would still expect to see evidence in the trunk. If the flies can smell it, they can most certainly get to it.
1 study he looked at involved a body in a bag in a trunk. It was a body recovered in Europe where the head of a victim was placed in a garbage bag in the trunk of a vehicle. There are many studies that look at barrier efficiency. He did not mean to imply that there is no way the bag could be a barrier.
Why wouldn't a bag keep bugs out? If the smells can get out of the bag, that indicates that it is not air tight. If a fly can smell the odors of decomposition, a female fly will deposit eggs on the outside layer near the knot of the bag if they can't get in. Then, when the maggots hatch, they will crawl in.
Did you experiment on the effects of chloroform on attracting flies?
OBJECTION - outside of scope - OVERRULED
Did you experiment with chloroform?
OBJECTION - outside of scope - OVERRULED
No. He did not. High concentrations of chloroform can kill insects.
Hypothetical - body is in trunk for a day or 2
OBJECTION - OVERRULED
Hypothetical - individual is placed in trunk alive, dies in trunk, large amounts of chloroform on the body and in the air - effect of this on early colonizers? Because there has been no research on that specific topic, he doesn't know if there is a good answer. The chloroform has to be sufficiently high to displace the oxygen. If chloroform acts as most chemicals do that have been studied, the effect is very short lasting.
If you change the air, you change the colonizers?
OBJECTION - OVERRULED
Flies can detect parts per billion. Were there anything other than a complete displacement, the flies would still be attracted. He agreed there have been no studies of this.
The flies don't smell the odor the same way we do. They pick up on individual molecules that are emitted. Changing the content of the air, you would have to replace every single one of the volatile sulfur compounds that the flies are attracted to.
He acknowledges there are no studies with chloroform and flies.
Paper towels - what was on them? He does not know what was on them. He has a report that states that it was fatty acids.
OBJECTION BY JB - what report?
Page 7 of Dr. Vass's report. Fatty acids - like adipocere or grave wax. He did not examine the paper towels. He assumes Dr. Vass is correct.
Would the flies be attracted to adipocere? Yes, they would be. Yet, you think it is the tobacco spit they were attracted to, rather than the adipocere.
HHJBP - PLEASE LET THE WITNESS FINISH
He did not consider the tobacco spit as a little bit. The presence of the flies on the towel is not something you would expect to find if it was adipocere because they would not tend to pupate near their food source.
He was shown the photo which showed the container that contained the tobacco spit. He said that was one of several. He showed several tops of cans that were used as spittoons. He said you could see the remnants - everyone he has met that spits into a can and leaves them around - look exactly like that. He has photos on a computer. JA is now preparing to show him the actual items.
OBJECTION BY JB - wants JA to use photos instead - OVERRULED
He was shown Exhibit 136 and stated it looked like a can, but not one of the ones he was talking about. Exhibit 10 - that's what he is talking about -
OBJECTION BY JB - He wants to see the item.
This would have easily attracted scuttle flies. JA - there is nothing in the can. He would need a flash light or the can cut open. He was not sure if he had records that indicated the cans were empty. One could assume that a bag of garbage with tobacco chew in a trunk of a car would evaporate. Do you recall being told the cans were empty?
OBJECTION - hearsay - OVERRULED
He was shown the inventory and agreed they all indicated they were empty. No entomological remnants were found in the cans. There were photos that showed some ON the cans.
OBJECTION BY JB - witness should be allowed to see the pictures - OVERRULED
Tobacco spit does not smell like human decomp, ever? He could not qualify it with "ever". Saliva can smell like a full decomposing body? Not what I'm saying. He would not assume the tobacco spit to smell like a decomposing human person. Do you agree there was no food in the bag? He stated there is a photo of the salami container that shows something inside of it.
RECESS at 3:13 to 3:30.
06-17-2011, 03:13 PM
JA says report says all cans were empty ....no entomological remnants in the cans..on the cans...look @ photos need to refer....agree there is no...(object- allow examine photos to show) overrule!
with all that said - agree tobacco spit doesn't smell like human decomp .....ever! wouldn't you? I don't know that he could put the qualifier of
"ever" as a body fluid decomp cycle....saliva decomposes smell like full decomposing body? Not what he said....that substance not going to smell dead person...not assume it to smell of dead person...no food in garbage bag.....agree? as he defines food things to eat...nothing in there like to eat....nothing in here anyone could eat even if pressed...no food in this trashbag? correct? photo on screen something inside salomie outside of that don't see food....something you may see in the salomy pack here......pull it out and take a look....jury been going since 1:30 recess til 3:30.
06-17-2011, 03:45 PM
JA - salami container - piece of paper inside there -NOT MEAT! there does not appear to be food in the trash....clean up decomp scene - take a paper towel clean up little bit of decomp fluid - not very effective- vacuum bugs left behind...only thing cannot get rid of is the smell....
rid all insect evidence - remove carpet layer and vacuum nooks and crannies of trunk itself...it is possible to remove but difficult to remove smell...
reference data - decomp event showed with pig central to know stage of decomp...accumulated days for pig experiment - avg. daily temp for 10 days in trunk...approx 60 degrees...based upon calculations going from memory....10 days @ 60 degees compare to 600 accumulated degree days 600 divided by 90 about 6 and change sounds right....not 2 days....state of decomp of experiment doesn't coincide w/2 1/2 yr child wrap in blanket in bags in trunk....
calendar degree days...it would be more in experimental case...trunk hotter than 90 degrees decomp go even faster....
propose amt of decomp exclude early colonizers can't get in 1 day....redirect
don't disagree w/Dr. haskell findings relate to Surburban Drive....site of recovery report is very agreeable...both agree body decompose somewhere else other than where it was found....evidence in this case recovered from site of recovery speaks for itself...body there some period of time...very difficult to say exact...months.....body was moved after death after some location very agreeable....after some stage of decomp already passed...makes perfect sense look @ evidence.....when testify there were early colonizers blow flies in canvass laundray bag Caylee body was found...how much insect early colonizers present from his report? looking
telling them 75 puparia recovered from the bag...is that considered a lot sir? rephrase....that is very few consider single female fly lay upwards of 300 eggs....
if you assume body came from trunk of car during that period of colony ...would expect to find more.....
75 puparia casings - legs come from adults - many more fly parts or dead flies in trunk....fly had 6 legs ....
Dr. Haskell makes association with...(object- during cross JA asked about the scene) approach!
06-17-2011, 03:51 PM
Dr. H- the evidence doesn't make sense any way you look @ it...Dr. Haskell report vehicle own findings doesn't find anything that says a body in trunk...
chloroform if body of trunk....would not see those kind flies....
if we were coming to assumptions...chlroform prevent colonization
evidence in bag (object -sustain)
I would like to expand...don't speak with objection
air samples recognized in scientific community? (object-relevance scope) sustained
member of Am Acdademy of Forensic science - up to date latest journals relates to decomp...yes I teach about this topic..... sidebar
06-17-2011, 04:12 PM
JB w/Dr. Huntington - referring to Dr. Vass' report of adipocere...fat like substance on the paper towels - that doesn't mean adipocere ....don't say "like" adipocere (object - sustain) fatty acids could be found in other items including meat products and other ....
tell us about adipocere -
where do you get info from adipocere? JA - in his experience an associated product of decomp...presence or absence of adipocere in pathology reports routinely say as well as anthromolgical reports....well established....have you ever tested adipocere....you don't need to test it......knowledge is from someone else-= that is how you learn everything in life....actual study in production of adipocere and presence and absence on human remains cases...he has never tested adipocere to see if it adipocere.....JA interrupts....
Dr. Huntington forgot - lost train of thought.....re read = atty's approach bench!
06-17-2011, 04:27 PM
Dr. H extensive working with forensic anthropologists who tell him this is adipocere....he feels it is in any experts realm...if we go with that Dr. Vass is not anthropologist (Jb laughs)
how long it takes for adipocere to develop...environmental factors...areas of reduced O2 content and more often cool and damp....bodies disenterred...properly laid bodies from funeral home will have adipocere due to cool restricted environment....
garbage JA asked you to see....you saw garbage received by SO...damp photos and saw it afterwards....forensic entomologist consulted in case...is it common practice to alter evidence? object sustain
garbage put in a dry room...that evidence altered since originally collected...objectoverrule
come here 3 years later show you can that was put in dry room then saved 3 years later...render garbage (compound question and vague on entomology? sustain)
expect the physical evidence now to be different than when collected.....
show pic of damp garbage ....neither you nor dr. haskell got see this garbage (object
the garbage in the trunk - object overrule
from get go...if I were entomologist involved demand a dna of maggot gut contents (object-move to strike sustain) other types of ....
entire debate as to whether dead body in trunk of car - overrule
other types of things done to answer this question that we are all tryin to answer object - sustained!
JB knocks mike....wakes everyone
now maggots eats remnants of food and bacteria left on remnants of food....JA asked you about garbage bag being an obstafcle for maggots and insect activity....show witness SA#75 publish...
publish to witness and ....
white bag of garbage with red staining on underside....SA#127 publish...trash bag not much deterrant for maggots and insects - drawstring leaves big hole in bag.....
Stain on you had in your study and asked if you had done it for this case....it was not...reasons other than this case...didn't include pigs with plastic bags, blanket and canvass bag...do that study for this case attempt to use same veh...handled pig carcasses as teh body in this case...duplicate the scenario...absolutely and not in Nebraska but in summer in FL......publish to jury
JA asked relations your study relates to this...picture of ? child car seat? or stain on carpet from decomp fluid...believe this stain if you can see a stain ....render a decision it came from human decomp....Object- Approach!
06-17-2011, 04:46 PM
Based on your experience or study can you look @ this stain and see if this stain came from a human decompostion...no it doesn't look lik the numerous homicide and suicide and natural causes scenes...is this photo good example of decomp fluid would look like on a carpet...this photo look like decomp....
given smell of decomp body would be in trunk of car for 1 to several days...someone ran out of gas...day or 2 after body removed...would someone be able to smell human decomp (object sustain based upon hypothetica)
would 4 people be able to ride around in a car the smell object -sustain
given - Jb asks for a moment -----Cm consulting w/JB
You never rendered opinion chew tobacco smells same as decompose body....no....trash dried is same smell as decomp -= no...any insinuation of such would you consider mislead? commentary of counsel!
Dr. H what was condition of garbage when it was in the trunk? based on evidence ...he has no knowledge of that ...doesn't know if wet or dry...nothing added to bag from time in trunk and time obtained by LE - NO FOOD in bag...object overrule...something wet non-food items don't all the sudden become food...unless dehydrated food...no food...wet or dry still not food..
adipocere- appearance of stain of decomp....not a forensic anthropologist got your PhD in 2008 yes....Masters in 2005 3 yrs before that.....study adipocere or decomp stains for bachelors degree? witness process of adipocere but did not study it....this experience comes come from your work from the last 3 years since PhD...no well before that...began before...began working in Hancock County as an assistance in highschool worked for a mortuary studied as .....ever in your experience as identity of a stain...first time ever asked to look @ a photograph to determine it is adipocere or human decomp.....first time ever in court of law you asked to identify from photo to identify human decomp....either way...when JB asked the question he didn't qualify about human decomp he asked bout stain...either way yes this is the first time whether human or other......no qualification exists to knowledge.....
every opinion related to this case in your report (object- beyhond the scope - impeachment Judge - overrule)....asked again...that report doesn't contain any opinion about identifying a stain by it's appearance object overrule - it is not in that report!
acknowledge on redirect photo was not intended to be a recreation of events in the case...presented to jury...didn't tell them it is not a representation what happened in this case...no but I also didn't tell them it was a representation...
JB - you are the youngest board certified entomologist (object) forensic correct....PhD certified thru the Am. Boad of Forensic Entomology certified before PhD...worked many death investigations....how many ...how much experience ...in the field consuted on approx. 75 death investigations in forensic entomology....
even though didn't put it in your report still render that opinion to this jury?
when you work as forensic entomologist work with photos....many cases come strictly as photos as no examples .....very common way for insect evidence and decomp stages of the body....vary in any way the photos you saw for this report....would expect any forensic entomologist would have the same answer....
JA I thought you said you never been asked to look @ a stain ...never in a court law....outside court of law it is something done all the time....discussed your opinion back in 2008 didn't you? why didn't you put it in your report? object -overrule....discuss with counsel didn't put in report? specifically discuss insects recover from trunk....it wasn't from medical, legal, nature ...weren't you instructed that every opinion in this case must be included in your report.......those boards....
witness excuse? yes
06-17-2011, 04:51 PM
I feel as if my fingers have melted into the machine....I apologise to all for all of the spelling errors and transpositions! What a day!!!!
06-17-2011, 06:59 PM
Hi Kimster - My power went out and had to save this to Word and move it here. It's not posted anywhere else. Thank you for all you do.
3:30 - JURY COMING BACK.
JA Putting on gloves (really)
CROSS EXAMINATION OF DR. HUNTINGTON BY JA - continued
HHJBP - to the Jury - did you get a package in the Jury room from the dessert lady?
JA shows witness item #11 from States 136 - salami container. He agreed the item inside the salami can is a piece of paper - item published to the jury
(NO ONE AT DEFENSE TABLE LOOKS HAPPY)
He agreed that there is no food in the trash bag.
Regarding cleaning up decomp artifacts, he does not think paper towels would be effective in cleaning up decomp, but you could try. You could also vacuum the trunk. Getting rid of all the insect evidence would involve removing the carpet liner and vacuuming underneath it in the nooks and crannies. He thinks the smell is possible to remove, but difficult.
Accumulated degree days on pig experiment? He doesn't have that data with him. The average temp was approximately 60 degrees. So, 10 days at 60 would equal how many days at 90 degrees? 6 and change - not 2.
The decomp in his experiment does not match a child wrapped in a laundry bag and plastic bags. If the trunk was hotter than 90 degrees, the decomp would happen quicker. Could it have been 1 day? He did not think it could happen that quickly.
No further questions by JA.
REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY JB:
He does not disagree with Dr. Haskel regarding the site of recovery. They both agreed the body decomposed somewhere else?
OBJECTION - leading - SUSTAINED
He thinks the evidence from the recovery site speaks for itself. The body was there for months. It was moved after death from some location after some decomposition has already passed.
There were early colonizers in the canvas bag. Dr. Haskel found 75 puparia in the bag. Is that considered a lot?
OBJECTION - leading
That is very few when a single female fly can lay upwards of 300 eggs.
If the body came from the trunk of the car during that point of colonization, he would expect to find many more in the trunk.
He would expect to find many more than 1 fly leg.
He and Dr. Haskel both agree the body was moved, but they disagree where it was prior to that. Dr. Haskel .....
OBJECTION BY JA -
SIDEBAR # 7 (3:45-3:47) - HHJBP said he needed to hear the answer before he could rule.
He and Dr. Haskel disagree on where the body was prior to it being moved. Dr. Haskel's report refers to the body being in the vehicle in question's trunk. He finds no reason to believe there was ever a body in the trunk. The evidence does not make sense to say that there was a body in the trunk.
Regarding chloroform - if you are saying chloroform would prevent colonization, you would not see any flies in the trunk.
OBJECTION - leading - SUSTAINED
The evidence in the bag argues against the State's assumptions.
Regarding Dr. Vass, and air samples - have you ever heard of air samples used
OBJECTION - relevance and expertise - SUSTAINED
Are air samples recognized
OBJECTION - basis of knowledge, relevance, scope - SUSTAINED
Do you keep up to date...
SIDEBAR # 8 (3:51-4:06)
Regarding Dr. Vass's findings on adipocere - is that how you interpreted it? When he read the report, it does not say adipocere, but like adipocere. He did not feel that was a definite answer. If a conclusion is made...
OBJECTION - SUSTAINED
That is his interpretation of the report and these fatty acids can be found in other items such as meat products. How long does it take adipocere to develop?
OBJECTION - SUSTAINED
Adipocere is a byproduct of decomp. How long does it take to develop?
OBJECTION - beyond expertise - OVERRULED
VOIR DIRE BY JA:
Where do you get your information on adipocere? His experience watching animal decomp and cases he has been involved in with human remains. Have you tested for adipocere?
OBJECTION BY JB - OVERRULED
Pathology reports routinely say as well as anthropological reports - it is a well established.... You do not need to test it if someone tells you it is adipocere. So, if someone tells you it is, you accept it? His basis is actual study of production of adipocere in decomp as well as presence or absence in human remains. He did not personally test it.
OBJECTION BY JB - JA sorry he thought the witness was done
SIDEBAR #9 (4:11-4:13)
VOIR DIRE BY JA - CONTINUED
Do you have personal experience with testing adipocere, or just reading? Not just reading about it. He has extensive experience with working with forensic anthropologists who point out adipocere. He thinks adipocere is in many experts' realms.
Dr. Vass is not an anthropologist.
OBJECTION AND MOVE TO STRIKE - GRANTED
REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY JB:
Conditions to develop adipocere are variable. Areas of reduced oxygen content - cool and damp such as buried.
How long does it take to develop? That depends on temperature and insect activity. It is primarily a late stage decomp artifact. Days or weeks - depends on environmental. Latter state?
OBJECTION - leading - SUSTAINED
It shows up in the later stages of decomp.
Regarding garbage JA asked about, he saw the photos of the garbage when it was received by the OSCO and then afterwards. Is it proper to alter?
OBJECTION - exceeds cross - SUSTAINED
Garbage was collected three years ago. It was put in a dry room. Altered?
OBJECTION - opinion outside expertise - OVERRULED
It is now not in the same condition as it was when collected.
Could you render an opinion 3 years later?
OBJECTION - compound question and opinion on what - SUSTAINED
He would expect the physical evidence now to be different than when it was collected.
He was shown Defendant's C
OBJECTION - exceeds scope - OVERRULED
He and Dr. Haskel did not see the garbage in its original state. What could you have derived?
OBJECTION - exceeds scope - OVERRULED
If he were the LE entomologist, he would have requested a DNA profile of the maggot gut contents.
OBJECTION - exceeds scope - SUSTAINED, SUSTAINED!
Are there things that could have been done?
OBJECTION - SUSTAINED!
Maggots will eat remnants of food and bacteria left from food remnants.
Regarding garbage bag being an obstacle to insect activity - he was shown State's Exhibit 75, 127 and 128. Zooming in on knot of garbage bag. Is it knotted?
OBJECTION - jury can interpret - OVERRULED
He sees that the draw strings of trash bag are knotted, yet their presence was found in the bag. The draw strings leave a large hole in the bag.
Regarding the stain in his study, he did not do the study for this case. If he were doing it specifically for this case, he would have attempted to use the same vehicle, wrapped the pig in the same manner. He would have done it in the summertime in Florida.
Regarding State's 80, based on his personal experience, is this stain from decomp?
OBJECTION - scope
SIDEBAR #10 (4:27-4:29)
REDIRECT BY JB - continued
Looking at the photo, it does not look like a decomp stain that he has seen.
Is this photo a good example of what decompositional fluid would look like on a piece of carpet? (Pig photo). State's 80 (Sunfire carpet) is not a good example.
Regarding smell of decomp when a body has been in the trunk of a car for several days, if someone ran out of gas a day or two after a body was removed, would someone be able to smell
JUST LOST POWER and internet and Channel 9 feed froze -
JA - impeachment - Johnson case
RECROSS BY JA:
Were you aware you were to put all your opinions in your report. Was the pig photo intended to be a recreation of this case? That's correct. It's strictly research.
REDIRECT BY JB:
He is the youngest board certified entomologist. He was certified by the Board before his Ph.D. He has worked approximately 75 death investigation scenes.
Regarding his report, he did not know he was going to be asked about pigs in a blanket. He didn't put it in his report because he didn't think it was going to be brought up.
Do you feel comfortable with your opinions?
OBJECTION BY JA - bolstering - SUSTAINED
Do you still render your same opinion even if not in your report?
OBJECTION BY JA - bolstering - SUSTAINED
Many cases only have photos because no samples are recovered. It is common. Any forensic entomologist could look at the photos and come to the same conclusions.
RECROSS BY JA -
Did you say you had never been asked to look at a stain and identify it? He has never been asked IN A COURT OF LAW? Outside of a court of law it is something that is done all the time.
Your stain opinion, you discussed with JB in 2008? Yes. So, why did you not put it in your report?
OBJECTION BY JB - OVERRULED
It did not go in the report because his report specifically related to the insects in the trunk and, based on that, there was no reason to conclude there was a body in the trunk.
The Boards he discussed do not have a certifying body for stain identification.
Jury excused until 9:00 a.m.
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