Saturday, June 4, 2011

CAYLEE ANTHONY'S POST-MORTEM HAIR BANDING DESCRIBED BY FBI FORENSICS EXPERT

As the court in the Casey Anthony murder trial resumed today, Saturday, we heard from a FBI forensics expert, who specializes in post-mortem hair banding.

Prosecution attorney, Jeff Ashton, had this FBI Evidence examiner, Karen Korsberg-Lowe, go through detailed forensics research which has been done on human hairs.  She explained to the jury, using photographs, how human hairs are analyzed by the FBI lab and also explained in forensics journals.  Jeff's questioning of this witness was to the point and concise.  I only wish that Jose's cross-examination questioning had been as well.  His questioning was all over the place.  Several of his questions were ruled improper by Judge Perry and at times overly redundant.  I got such a headache trying to follow him.

During her testimony, FBI Examiner Karen Korsberg-Lowe kept referring to post-mortem hair banding as being from "apparent human decomposition". She said that although several scientific tests have been done on hairs associated with decomposition, they cannot say for a certainty that post-mortem hair banding is unique to human decomposition, so they always refer to it as "apparent" human decomposition.  (She told the jury about a study where scientists took hairs from live people and put them in the forest for weeks.  After retrieving the hairs, none of them showed any signs like what has been seen happens with human decomposition).

This expert was very credible, and said that she could not say for certainty that the banding in the hair root was from human decomposition, but that scientists have not found anything else that made that banding.  She also testified that not all deceased bodies create hairs with banding.  She also testified that this hair appeared to have been pulled rather than shed from Caylee's head.

She also noted that hairs from a child, the child's mother, the child's grandmother, anybody from the maternal part of the family have the same consistency.  She stated that the one hair with post-mortem hair banding found in Casey's car trunk was identified as being light brown and nine inches long.  After analysis, it was determined not to be Casey Anthony's hair, but admitted that it could have been of an as-yet unknown maternal relative with brown hair. One reason that she knew that the hair was not Casey's is that the hair was not treated, and Casey's hair was.

DEFENSE CROSS-EXAMINATION

When Jose Baez started his cross-examination, he worked to cast doubt on the FBI expert and her, findings, credentials (she failed one test in 2000) and testimony.  Unfortunately, rather than getting to the point of discrediting this witness in a manner that made sense, he went all over the place making accusations of this witness and her findings.  He made some good points, but the questioning was so all over the place, that I could not get what point he was getting to.  What I do know is that I had a fierce headache after he was done.

Below are some notes I took as Jose Baez spoke.  They are rough notes because Jose was so confusing and kept asking questions that the court would not allow.

JOSE'S FAUX-PAS

As Jose started his cross, he was asking the FBI expert a question and referred to the Melendez Brothers' case.  In his question, he started incorporating a case point that the judge in the Melendez case referenced some other case where a man had been convicted of a crime because of expert hair decomposition/DNA testimony (yes, Jose referred to a case within a case).   Judge Perry stopped him, had the jury leave and told Jose to NOT bring in any other court case into this trial.

JOSE CROSS-EXAMINES FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE HOURS, GOING ALL OVER THE PLACE

In one of his questions of the FBI expert, Jose tried to discredit her, saying that she's not an expert of hair growth, the physiology of it, for which she agreed and said that her expertise was hair banding.  He down-played her expertise saying that she only had 6 months of a training course, some on-the-job training and four articles that she's read, saying: "You don't know what causes post-mortem banding".  She admitted that, and also that she doesn't know how long it takes for banding to occur.

He said that she cannot testify with certainty that the hair came from a dead body, for which she said that she had already testified to that. It was "consistent" with a hair coming from a decomposing body.  Jose then tried to get her to admit she had her doubts about the hair associated with Caylee's decomposing body, but she disagreed.  She had stated in one report that if the FBI could find more hairs with post-mortem banding, that it would make a stronger case.  Jose then went into her receiving more hairs for analysis and that no other hairs in evidence had root-banding on them.  He had her testify to the jury that all other hairs that she analyzed that came from the trunk did not have any root banding.  At one point, Jose tried to get her to testify to some analysis of hairs she had done which were not in evidence, but that was objected to by the prosecutor and sustained.  Then he had her go through multiple reports she had made about hairs found and analyzed, some 10-12 reports, one by one, by one, by one, by one, by one, showing that there were no other hairs found in Casey's car that had post-mortem hair banding.

She has already testified that not all hairs from a deomposing body will show hair banding. But only hairs from a dead body have ever been found to have hair banding.

This FBI expert was very good, making sure that she never said "identical", saying that hairs are not unique to one individual, and that's why they do additional DNA testing to make identifications.  Her testimony was centered around post-mortem hair banding and who they link to.

Jose started asking "Were you aware that the brush you were given was also used by Cindy Anthony and Cay.." which was interrupted by prosecution and sustained.

Jose pointed out that there was only one hair with post-mortem hair root banding, there's a strong likelihood that it could have gotten there by transferring from somewhere else.


EVIDENCE IN THE CASEY ANTHONY MURDER TRIAL CASE:

Folks, WFTV has compiled a large amount of the evidence and photos athttp://www.wftv.com/news/23080678/detail.html. The heart sticker on the duct tape can be seen there.


Miscellaneous messages seen:

Baez, in his cross of an earlier witness, talked about "transfer" of hairs and how Caylee's hairs may have wound up in the trunk. Now with this witness, he is driving home a point that only one has the decomp banding. Where is he going? I'm confused.

Hair banding testimony was used one other time in a trial in NY.


Hairbanding has been used WORLDWIDE, but not yet in FL! :)

Scott Peterson is one case where just one piece of hair was used as evidence to convict him. You know where he ended up.


Circumstantial evidence was what convicted Scott Peterson. No cause of death for Laci was determined and ONE strand of her hair was critical evidence.


There's an incredible number of similarities between the case against Scott Peterson and this one, and Scott was sentenced to death.


THEY DO NOT HAVE TO "PROVE" ANYTHING EVIDENCE CAN BE CIRCUMSTANTIAL- THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW PETERSON KILLED HIS WIFE - OD -STRANGLE -SMOTHER - BUT YET HE IS ON DEATH ROW AN FOUND GUILTY BASED ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE - THIS DOES NOT NEED TO BE PROVEN BUT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT - WHICH WITH THE FORENSIC AND PAST LIES WILL BE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT LIKE PETERSON WAS.


Not only does Scott Peterson come to mind, but Diane Downs & Susan Smith.


Scott Peterson was a much different type of person than Casey...he is more like that of Ted Bundy...although Casey is hard for people to swallow...she is nothing like those cases.


JP slammed JB late yesterday for bringing up Dr. Lee in his cross of the OCLE investigator of the Anthony car because Dr. Lee was not deposed. Here is the link regarding why Dr. Lee left the defense team. Dr. Lee wanted to be paid $7,500 for 3 days work plus travel expenses from Conn. I guess JP thought that the fees were too much and he preferred the defense use local experts to get costs down.http://www.justice4caylee.org/t9755-casey-anthony-wftv-asks-if-dr-henry-lee-is-leaving-case-over-money-defense-says-its-just-a-paperwork-issue

7 comments:

  1. I thought MS Lowe did a excellent job on the stand,Jose Baez is making a fool of his self he is in it for strictly the fame.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A couple things I am still confused about - When the CSI picked up the trash bag from the dumpster, there were two white bags there. Why didn't she retrieve both of them for good measure? Also, the pictures of the garbage would not have produced that smell and there were no maggots present in either the trunk or the trash when forensics received it (was the trunk cleaned prior to forensics receiving it because I've never seen a trunk with a child that clean!)

    Were there DNA samples taken from the hair as well as the banding?

    Sorry if my comments are out of context, but I am not able to follow the case as closely as I would like.

    ReplyDelete
  3. state to prove tape killed the child . Cronk screwed up the evidence . No murder 1 or 2 . Much evidence was suppressed in this case.

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