COA found no plain error in allowing firearm identification testimony. Former NCSCL analyst Wilson testified in detail about her methodology, but provided little information about application of the method to the case at hand.
US v. Chatrie
EDVA decision holding a geofence warrant was unconstitutional.
State v. Thomas, 2021 NCCOA-402
COA held that trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the testimonyof the State’s GSR expert because he followed the State Crime Lab’s procedures asrequired to meet Rule 702(a)’s reliability requirement where defendant made statement upon GSR collection that he had been asleep during the 5+ hour period between shooting and collection.
State v. Joyner, 2021-NCCOA-684 (unpub)
Detective testified about cell phone tower location and determined direction of tower based on records. COA held Detective’s testimony was limited to illustrating and interpreting the admitted cell phone records, therefore it did not require scientific or other specialized knowledge and was not expert testimony.
Clark v. Clark, 2021-NCCOA-653
Plaintiff argued Derek Ellington was not qualified as a digital expert. COA held Ellington testified as a lay witness, not an expert, because he testified to what he saw or experienced in making a forensic copy and demonstrating the defendant did not send the photos to others.
State v. Gibbs (unpub)(2021)
NCSCL drug chemistry analyst Jennifer West testified about whether fentanyl was an opiate or opioid. Trial court erred in admitting West’s testimony because she lacked training on the issue of whether fentanyl was an opiate or opioid.
Overturned Arson Convictions
John Lentini compiled case information on these wrongful convictions based on questionable laboratory analysis.
United States v. Gissantaner, 990 F.3d 457 (6th Cir. 2021).
State v. Martin (unpub)(2021)
A NC State Crime Lab drug chemistry expert testified to GCMS results without explaining methodology, the reliability of methodology, or the application of method to facts of the case as required by Rule of Evidence 702. It was error to admit the expert’s testimony, but the issue was not preserved and the Court of Appeals …
State v. Teesateskie (2021)
The defendant also argued on appeal that the trial court should not have allowed the State’s expert to testify as to possible reasons why Hydrocodone did not show up in the defendant’s blood test, because that testimony violated Rule 702 in that it was not based on scientific or technical knowledge, was impermissibly based on …
State v. Hills (N.C. Ct. App. 2021)
United States v. Adams, 444 F. Supp.3d 1248 (D. Or. 2020).
After applying Daubert, the court concluded that the expert testimony in the case should be limited because the conclusions were not supported by a quantifiable or replicable scientific process.
United States v. Adams, 444 F. Supp.3d 1248 (D. Or. 2020).Read More
People v. Ross, 68 Misc. 3d 899 (2020).
Decision on a Frye Motion requesting that the court preclude all ballistic expert testimony comparing shell casings from the crime scene to a gun found in one of the defendants’ car. The court concluded that an expert cannot offer opinions that are not supported by the relevant scientific community. Testimony by an expert that is …
State v. Walton, _ N.C. App. _ (April 20, 2021)
A sniffing canine can be found to be property trained despite the canine having an expired certification at the time of the the sniff, so long as the canine has a history of certification and at least one other unexpired certification. Additionally, the handler’s training being inconsistent with department standards is not by itself insufficient …
State v. Jackson, _ N.C. App. _ (April 20, 2021)
Evidence that cocaine was the identity of the substance was admissible not withstanding the substance being handled with bare hands and stored in a glove box where cocaine had previously been stored. The court found concerns over cross contamination went to the evidence’s weight, not matters of admissibility and authentication.