John Cayton Testifies In Brown's Chicken Case

Crime scene expert John Cayton recently testified in the Brown's Chicken murder case against Juan Luna and James Degorski. Cayton testified that two shoe prints found at the restaurant after the murders did not match Luna or Degorski. Cayton testified that a dirty shoe print found on a coupon on the kitchen floor was from a Nike shoe between size 12 and 14. Cayton also testified that a bloody shoe print found near a freezer was from a Reebox shoe that was either a men's size 9 or a women's size 7.5.

Kenneth Pfoser And John Onstwedder Testify In Brown's Chicken Case

Yesterday, DNA expert Kenneth Pfoser testified that DNA found on a partially eaten chicken dinner matched that of Juan Luna, who is on trial for murder in the Brown's chicken case. Pfoser works at the Northeastern Illinois Crime Lab. Also yesterday, John Onstwedder, a fingerprint expert, testified that Juan Luna's palm print matched a partial print found on a napkin recovered at the crime scene. Judge Vincent Gaughan is presiding over the trial.

Cecila Doyle Testifies In Brown's Chicken Case

Illinois State Police crime lab scientist Cecilia Doyle testified recently in the Brown's chicken murder case. Doyle testified that a DNA profile found on chicken bones came from at least one man. Doyle testified that she tested five swabs and got a mixture of DNA profiles and there was more than one contributor from the sample. Doyle also testified that the five swabs were eventually lost. The trial against Juan Luna is continuing in Cook County Circuit Court.

DNA Expert Sherry Culhane Testifies In Steven Avery Trial

Sherry Culhane, a forensic scientist in the DNA section of the Wisconsin State Crime Lab testified and defended her results that show Steven Avery as the origin of blood and DNA found in Teresa Halbach's sport utility  vehicle in 2005. Avery's attorneys argued that since Culhane's own DNA was found in a negative control sample (that is supposed to be devoid of any DNA), the tests should have been deemed inconclusive and new testing should have taken place. That can't be done, however, because the entire DNA sample was consumed during the initial testing.

Dr. Werner U. Spitz - Expert For Plaintiff Arlinthia White

Dr. Werner U. Spitz has been retained as an expert for the plaintiff in the case of White v. Geradot pending in the Northern District of Indiana. Dr. Spitz is a well-known forensic pathologist and the Professor of Pathology at Wayne State School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Spitz was retained by plaintiff Arlinthia White, whose son Derrick Ford was shot and killed by Fort Wayne police detective Mark Geradot on January 10, 2004 after a fight broke out outside a VFW hall. White claims that Geradot used excessive force in violation of the 4th and 14th Amendments. The district court judge in the case recently granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion for summary judgment.

Dr. Joye Carter and Dr. Vincent J. DiMaio - Experts in Ware vs. City of Chicago

In the recent case of Estate of Cornelius Ware vs. City of Chicago, et al., both sides retained an expert in forensic pathology. The plaintiff retained Dr. Joye Carter, who was formerly the Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia and Harris County, Texas. Dr. Carter was the nation's first black female Chief Medical Examiner. The defendants retained Dr. DiMaio, who is the well-known Chief Medical Examiner of Bexar County in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. DiMaio is the author of numerous books and publications regarding gunshot wounds. This trial took place in the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Joan Lefkow was the presiding judge.

Dr. Peter Santucci & Dr. Charles Wetli - Experts for Defendants in Thompson v. City of Chicago, et al.

In Thompson v. City of Chicago, et al. (Case No. 04-3177) - a case where James Thompson died while struggling with police officers. The Cook County Medical Examiner ruled Thompson's death a homicide, concluding Thompson died due to asphyxia resulting at least in part from a "choke hold." (This case is discussed in other entries on this blog). The defendants called the following expert witnesses:

Dr. PETER SANTUCCI - a cardiac electro-physiologist and assistant professor at the Loyola University Medical Center -  testified that James Thompson's heart was irregular due to severe cardiomyopathy, hypertension, and obesity.

Dr. CHARLES WETLI - Chief Medical Examiner and Director of Forensic Sciences for Suffolk County, New York - testified that Thompson died from cardiac arrhythmia precipitated by his severely compromised heart and the physical exertion associated with his altercation with the police.

Dr. Kris Sperry and Dr. Geoffrey Alpert - Experts for Plaintiffs in Thompson v. City of Chicago, et al.

In Thompson v. City of Chicago, et al., the jury found in favor of the defendants and the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed the district court's rulings on certain motions in limine. (Case No. 04-3177). In that case, the plaintiff called the following expert witnesses:

Dr. KRIS SPERRY  (forensic pathologist) - Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Georgia - who testified that the pressure applied to James Thompson's neck initiated a fatal heart arrhythmia. However, Dr. Sperry also conceded that Thompson's pre-existing heart disease and the presence of morphine in his blood also contributed to the fatal arrhythmia.

Dr. GEOFFREY ALPERT - professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina - who testified that the police officers were not authorized to use lethal force against Thompson under Chicago police procedures in place at the time. Rather than a choke hold, Alpert testified the officers could have used pepper spray, tackled Thompson, or used a baton below the waist.

Lola Vollen Testifies For Plaintiff

Lola Vollen, editor of the book "Surviving Justice," and founder of the "Life After Exoneration" program, recently testified for plaintiff Alejandro Dominguez in his civil rights lawsuit against the City of Waukegan and former Police Lieutenant Paul Hendley. Ms. Vollen conducted a 7 hour interview of Mr. Dominguez. Ms. Vollen testified that it is very unusual for a person who served time in prison to pursue their exoneration. She also testified regarding post-rape trauma syndrome and said that Mr. Dominguez was suicidal after getting out of prison. On cross-examination, Ms. Vollen testified that she is not a psychiatrist or treater and that she did not examine Mr. Dominguez's prison records or medical records. 

Dr. James Cavanaugh Testifies For Defendants

Dr. James L. Cavanaugh, Jr. recently testified for the defendants, the City of Waukegan and former Police Lieutenant Paul Hendley, in a civil rights suit filed by Alejandro Dominguez. Dr. Cavanaugh was rebutting the testimony of plaintiff's expert, Dr. Terry Kupers. Dr. Cavanaugh is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Rush Medical College and is the founder of Cavanaugh & Associates. Dr. Orest Eugene Wasyliw, also a member of Cavanaugh & Associates, also testified for the defendants. Dr. Wasyliw opined that Mr. Dominguez has painful feelings but those feelings do not impair him in his daily life. Dr. Wasyliw opined that Mr. Dominguez's petition for executive clemency was inconsistent with Mr. Dominguez suffering from a major depressive disorder. This trial took place in the Northern District of Illinois before the Honorable Milton I. Shadur.

Dr. Terry Kupers Testifies For Plaintiff Re: PTSD

Dr. Terry Kupers, a California psychiatrist, has testified again on behalf of a plaintiff, this time for Alejandro Dominguez in his civil rights suit against the City of Waukegan. On October 10, 2006, Dr. Kupers testified that Mr. Dominquez suffers from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Earlier this year, Dr. Kupers testified on behalf of Michael Evans in his suit against the City of Chicago and ten former Chicago Police Officers. Dr. Kupers testified in that case that Mr. Evans suffers from PTSD. Dr. Kupers also testified last year on behalf of plaintiff Steve Manning in his suit against two FBI agents, Robert Buchan and Gary Miller. In each case, the plaintiff was represented by the law firm of Loevy & Loevy. All three of these trials were conducted in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. Dr. Kupers is the author of the book "Prison Madness."  

Dr. Gary Wells Testifies Re: Eyewitness Identification

On October 10, 2006, Dr. Gary Wells, Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University, testified as an expert witness for the plaintiff Alejandro Dominguez in his trial against the City of Waukegan. Dr. Wells testified that he is an expert in eyewitness memory and eyewitness identification. He claims that he has published more than anyone in the world on these topics. Dr. Wells testified that it was improper for the Waukegan police to conduct a "show-up" two days after the subject rape, despite the fact that the rape victim said she had seen her attacker before. He opined that the police should have conducted a line-up instead. He also testified that the police should have given a warning that "the offender might or might not be in the line-up" - which was not given. This is the third case that Dr. Wells has been retained by attorney Jon Loevy. Dr. Wells also testified for the plaintiff Michael Evans this summer in his suit against the the City of Chicago and ten former Chicago police officers. (The jury returned a verdict for all of the defendants in that case). Also, in 2005, Dr. Wells testified for plaintiff Steve Manning in his suit against two FBI agents, Robert Buchan and Gary Miller. (The jury awarded Manning $6.6 million in that case, but pending post-trial motions seek to overturn that award).