Saturday, January 17, 2009

Phil Spector Retrial: Day Twenty-eight

January 15th, 2009

Prosecution Witnesses:

#31 Dr. Lynne Herold (LA Co. Sheriff's Office senior criminalist, blood spatter analyst and crime scene re constructionist; under redirect)

Accredited Press inside the courtroom: Harriet Ryan of the Los Angeles Times

Today is the first day that I miss some trial testimony. I caught the train in time but the red line had two train breakdowns in both directions. When we reached the Universal Studio Station, the train just sat there for like forever. Then we were told there was a train breakdown ahead of us and they were going to try to move the train. If they could not move the train then we would switch to the north bound track to get through the Cahuenga pass. We wait quite a bit of time before the train engineer tells us we are moving to the other track. All I could think about was the train crash in Chatsworth, and a train coming on the northbound track while we headed south. We use the North track to stop at the Hollywood & Highland Station, as well as Hollywood and Vine. After that we switch back to the south bound track. Once we reached MacArthur Park Station, we were told we would have to disembark because that train was ordered back to North Hollywood. The train was packed and everyone had to get off. I only had three stations to go, but I didn't want to try to figure out what surface bus or buses I would have to take, so I stayed put. We waited another twenty minutes or so before there was another train headed south. When I arrived inside 106 it was a few minutes before 10 am.

Inside the courtroom I notice that Rachelle Short is absent and there are no supporters on the defense side. The defense investigator from the first trial, Tawni Tyndall is in the courtroom sitting on the left in the third row. Dr. Herold is still under cross. There are more photos of the scene put up on the ELMO and Harriet Ryan enters around 10 am.

Weinberg is trying to get Dr. Herold to say that the edges of where the tooth material landed (item #5 near the stairs in the foyer and item #10 on the sixth stair step) is the "outer boundary of the "cone." (The cone being a type of pattern that spatter analysts typically see.) Dr. Herold responds, "What do you mean by cone? What do you mean by boundary?" Weinberg is trying to apply spatter analysis physics to the teeth material. Dr. Herold testifies, "Not only do they have different shapes and properties [...] so they would have different flight paths (than blood spatter). She goes on to say that she's not an expert in solid object aerodynamics. I can't give an estimate or evaluation." The point Weinberg is trying to make is that if her head is positioned in the direction Dr. Herold concludes it was (slightly to the right of center towards true north) how are all the fragments ending up to the south? Dr. Herold, holds her ground that this is not precisely correct, and she would rather graph it out over lunch before answering. Weinberg agrees to table this issue until after lunch.

Weinberg asks about the fabric pattern she testified is on the right side of the gun when there's nothing in her notes. She did not testify to it at the first trial. She doesn't remember being asked. I don't have it in my notes but IIRC, she states that she believes this is documented in the photographs and the notes she made on each photograph.

"Is there a discipline in criminlistics for evaluating fabrics on metal?" Weinberg asks. "Yes; fabric impressions," Dr. Herold answers. "Was her work on this reviewed?" Weinberg continues. "Yes." Dr. Herold mentions the name of a criminalist that I fail to get and states she would have to check records as to when that review occurred.

Weinberg then asks if there are people who specialize in blood spatter analysis. Dr. Herold agrees that there are. He asks her, "Stewart is one, correct?" Dr. Herold states that there is a James Stewart and a Stewart James who are both experts. Dr. Herold is asked to detail her education on blood spatter analysis. Soon after joining the LA. Co. Coroner's Office, (She worked there before switching to the Sheriff's Crime Lab) she took her first class in blood stain pattern analysis from (I believe) Herb McDonald and Elaine (?). She also attended several workshops that were less than 40 hours. In 2006, three years after this case, she took an advanced class with Stewart James and Paul Kish. "So if I understand correctly, after this case, you took an advanced class before you were about to testify [...] and the Sheriff's Office paid for that correct?" "Well, part of it. They paid for the tuition and gave a per Diem." Dr. Herold indicates that basically the per Diem did not cover her daily expenses. (From this testimony I'm speculating that Weinberg will argue that since she's only had a few classes in blood pattern analysis, (Dr. Herold does lots of different types of analysis) she's not really an expert and the defense experts are the true specialists.)

Weinberg asks her if spatter occurs faster than recoil and muzzle flip. She says that "at least part of it is faster than that." "And there is spatter on the crane and cylinder?" Weinberg questions again. Dr. Herold agrees. Weinberg then asks, "And that is consistent with what you know about spatter?" Dr. Herold agrees. Weinberg now goes onto Spector's jacket and the piece of spatter on the back upper portion of the right sleeve, near the seam. I don't know who made this statement: "One piece of spatter [...] almost in the armpit."

Weinberg asks, "If there was a single spatter event (the gunshot wound) wouldn't that mean that the back of Mr. Spector [...] (I'm sorry. I don't have the rest of this question but I think you get the gist.) Dr. Herold responds. "There didn't have to be a single spatter event. I know there was a time when Spector moved around the house. [...] I also don't know the exact position of every stitch of clothing [...]"

Weinberg asks, "The hand would have to be either like this, or this?" (Weinberg has raised his right hand high up over towards his left shoulder. "Well, not necessarily the hand," Dr. Herold responds. "The spot is on the back of the center sleeve, is it not?" he asks. "Well, in the studio photo, yes, but not necessarily while the jacket is worn." she replies. Weinberg continues, "You know that Phil Spector is right handed?" Dr. Herold states she doesn't necessarily "know" that, but she believes she's been told that. "How does a piece of impact spatter get back here?" (This time, Weinberg has his right arm crossed over his chest and his left arm trying to point to the back where the spatter is. I'm not sure what he's trying to prove with this demonstration. That maybe her analysis of the scene is flawed and this one piece of spatter doesn't fit, or maybe to show that Spector couldn't have been standing where he was with the gun pointed at Ms. Clarkson with this piece of spatter.) Weinberg presses on. Dr. Herold thinks for a moment before she answers, "I guess we'll need to get the mannequins out." Weinberg doesn't press that answer at the moment and nothing more is said.

The next issue Weinberg moves onto is how far spatter travels. Weinberg asks if small spatter can travel up to four feet. Dr. Herold agrees. "Is there anything that causes you to limit it in this case to two feet?" Weinberg asks. "I base that on my experience," Dr. Herold answers. Weinberg asks her if she found spatter on the slip dress edge and Dr. Herold said she found spatter on the lacy edge of the slip dress. "And you concluded that the distance to the hem edge of the dress was 2.5 feet?" He questions. "No. I said it was three feet," Dr. Herold answers.

Weinberg asks about blood on the chair. "You found even larger items on the inside arm of the chair?" Dr. Herold partly disagrees. "What you're describing is actually in blood pattern analysis considered "medium" [size spatter].

A short, older bottle blond woman comes in who obviously knows Tawni Tyndall. It's a woman I saw during the first week or so of the trial sit with Rachelle. She sits over on the defense side and Tawni joins her. Now I'm guessing that this woman might work with Tawni or the defense team in some way and was not one of Spector's or Rachelle's friends.

Weinberg scores a point regarding the pantyhose.

DW: Do you know if Jamie Lintemoot looked at the pantyhose?

Dr. H: No, I do not.

DW: Pantyhose are elastic are they not? (I believe Dr. Herold answered that she agrees.)

Weinberg implies that there might have been blood on the pantyhose and in the process of moving Ms. Clarkson's body from the scene and then to an autopsy table and then removing the pantyhose from the body, dried blood might have fallen off.

DW: Can you exclude the possibility of there being blood spatter there and it fell off in the transport?

Dr. H: No, I cannot.

(With this admission, Weinberg may argue in closing that the spattering event could have extended farther from Ms. Clarkson which means Mr. Spector was standing farther away from Ms. Clarkson when she was shot.)

DW: Intra oral (gunshot wounds) are a little bit different than others are they not?

Dr. H: No.

DW: The bullet doesn't exit and the gases have to go somewhere?

The short bottle blond now is speaking with the young clerk operating the ELMO.

Dr. H: Part of the energy of the shot is doing tissue damage internally. The gases will be escaping through [into]other areas: lungs, sinus (cavities), the nose.

DW: So you don't think that the gases would propel the blood farther?

Dr. H: No.

DW: Is this an area where experts can differ?

Dr. H: (With a smile on her face) Several experts had a different opinion in the first trial. [...] [it] (blood) will still be under the forces of physics [...]

DW: Do you know abut experiments in Europe where spatter travels six to eight feet?

Dr. H: Not of that size. (mist like) I have the papers with me.

Dr. Herold explains that the mist like spatter in those experiments did not extend past two feet, so the six to eight feet distance does not apply to the mist like spatter seen on Spector's jacket.

DW: Forward and back spatter, both are controlled by [the] same laws, under same governing principals?

Dr. H: You see more going forward verses back.

DW: Did you know that Dr. Pena testified that he's seen spatter travel ten to fifteen feet in suicides.

AJ: Objection! Vague. Misstates the evidence.

For Judge Fidler to rule, he needs to see Dr. Pena's testimony and Weinberg did not bring that section of this trial transcript. Fidler has to look it up. Weinberg asks another question about Dr. Pena and AJ objects again, stating Dr. Pena was talking about "through and through" gunshot wounds. (I believe Judge Fidler ruled in favor of the prosecution. I can't remember if the testimony was read back. But I hope you do see what Weinberg is doing and has done throughout his entire cross. He will take a piece of testimony out of context and ask a witness to comment on it, in an effort to elicit testimony favorable to his client. Whenever this happens, usually AJ has been on it fast, with an objection that it misstates the evidence. Other times, like with Dr. Herold or Dr. Pena, they have asked to read the testimony complete "in context" before they answer.)

DW: Let's look at the jacket. There was not a single spot of blood on the right side [of Mr. Spector's jacket) except a contact stain [correct]?

Dr. H: Except there was blood on the sticky disc. Not sure if it was from the left or right sleeve.

Weinberg asks how many hours she spent on the jacket (looking at it under the high powered microscope) and Dr. Herold says "At least a week." (Dr. Herold goes onto explain that the process of testing materials found on a sticky disc, which strips the glue that picks up the items are in will destroy the lighter materials on the disc, such as blood. This is why they did not strip the sticky discs and also why they could not trace the blood to Ms. Clarkson or Mr. Spector. This is why the piece of smokeless powder that was found on the sticky disc stayed on the disc and was not put through more analysis.)

Weinberg goes back to the spatter on the right chair arm and what stains are spatter and what stains are not. 11:35 am Detective Tomlin enters 106. The questioning is long, drawn out and tedious. Weinberg is questioning Dr. Herold on "why" there is no spatter pattern in a specific area on the chair if Ms. Clarkson's head was in the position she testified it was. Dr. Herold states the purse strap was covering this area and she found spatter on the purse strap. To me, the jury looks very bored. One juror was leaning forward and dropping their head and turning it from side to side to try to stretch out their neck. Afterwards, they sit back up. Other jurors are slumped in their chairs. 11:20 am, Harvey with the shock of white hair enters and sits with Tawni and the short woman.

11:41 am: Several members of the jury are still slouching in their seats forward and back. I'm wondering if they are totally lost. Some look like they are. I'm wondering if Weinberg is oblivious to it. 11:49 am, Harriet Ryan leaves 106. A few moments after Harriet Ryan leaves, Judge Fidler, maybe sensing that the jury is bored to tears (or maybe he is) states that we will take our lunch break early since he has to be somewhere outside the building.

1:29 pm: Lunch is over and the courtroom is finally opened. Rachelle Short comes to court for the afternoon session. She's dressed in a very form fitting light gray pantsuit with tiny white pinstripes about 3 inches apart and carrying a large silver lamme purse. It's interesting. The one other time that I remember her only attending the afternoon session, she had on a light colored suit then, too, and not the usual very dark colors she normally wears for this trial.

Two very casually dressed twenties looking women come into the courtroom and sit behind me. One woman kept asking me questions. "Did they do the pictures today? ... Will they show pictures? ... Have you gotten to know Phil?" "No," I reply, asking her, "Why would I?" The woman presses on. "Have you gotten to talk to him?" "No," I answer. You can just imagine what I was thinking with all these questions.

1:40 pm: Wendy calls the jury.

Weinberg starts the afternoon off by asking Dr. Herold about smokeless powder.

DW: Identification of smokeless powder is that a specific specialty? (Another question about GSR.)

Dr. H: There are several things that can be GSR (gunshot residue).

DW: Are you one of the people that does the identification in the lab?

Dr. H: I'm not the one who does primer residue. (I believe she states that's Jim Carroll.) [...] I'm the one that did the smokeless powder.

DW: Is that typical that different people would handle [this]?

Dr. H: Yes.

DW: That's standard in your office?

Dr. H: Yes.

(I think the next question is about the sticky discs, because in my notes I have Dr. Herold answering: "Michelle Lepisto or her maiden name Lomis (witness #26) did the GSR analysis on one of them.")

Three older gentlemen enter and sit with Rachelle. One of them I've seen in the courtroom before.

DW: When did you first examine the jacket and sticky disc for smokeless powder?

Dr. H: The exact date?

DW: Or when did you write your report?

They review Dr. Herold's report. Dr. Herold testified on direct that a piece of smokeless powder was found on the sticky disc used on Spector's white jacket sleeve(s). Her report states, "no smokeless powder of obvious morphology." Weinberg sees this as a contradiction; he believes her report states there is no smokeless powder at all. "There is no place else in the report that states you found smokeless powder," he contends. Dr. Herold explains that's how she wrote it but what she meant was, there was none that had "obvious morphology." She did take digital images of the smokeless powder that she found, and those are included in her report. Weinberg questions this again. "That meant to you there was no "obvious" smokeless powder, not that there was no evidence at all?" "That's what I wrote," she testifies, "with attached pictures."

Weinberg continues to question Dr. Herold on GSR and the FBI standards for testing and evaluating GSR. (Supposedly, the FBI has abandoned testing individuals for GSR.) Dr. Herold patiently explains to Weinberg the difference. "You're talking apples and oranges. One doesn't apply to the other." Weinberg challenges her on that and Dr. Herold has to explain again that these are all different.

(They are talking about bullet fragments, lead, antimony, barium, smokeless powder and Dr. Herold states all are different in regards to analysis. Smokeless powder is different than lead, barium and antimony. All are "gunshot residue" per sae, but what I'm getting from her testimony is, smokeless powder would only be present if a gun has been fired. With highly specific and consistent with GSR particles, these can be picked up even though a gun has not been fired in the individuals vicinity.)

DW: Someone who has one particle on them does not necessarily mean they are in the room when the gun goes off?

Dr. H: [Correct.]

DW: Are you aware that the jacket was handled by police officers? (This is a total misstatement of the evidence presented.)

Dr. H: I don't believe it was. [...] I believe [officers pointed it out] and criminalist [Robert Keil] picked it up and collected it.

DW: Do you know for a fact that the police did not handle it?

Dr. H: No.

(I'm not positive what Weinberg is trying to imply with this line of questioning. Is he really going to argue that the smokeless powder got on the white jacket via police handling it?)

Weinberg moves onto the diagram that Dr. Herold insisted on doing (a birds eye view of the foyer with items placed to scale) before she answered Weinberg's question about the location of the tooth material. Weinberg insists that all the tooth fragments are "south" of Lana Clarkson's head. Dr. Herold says for about the 20th time today, "Yes and no." She agrees that, "According to 'true north' the items are /south' of her. [However,] they are 'north' of the line of her body/head alignment." (You would have to see the diagram to understand what she is saying. It was obvious to me, but I'm wondering if it was to the jury.)

Weinberg asks about the stain on the right sleeve of Spector's black shirt. There was no way to "source the moisture stain. Dr. Herold states that the stain was pure water. Weinberg asks her about when she received the clothing. "Didn't Alhambra Police have it for a week before they turned it over? Weinberg asks her. Dr. Herold states, "That's typical with all the police departments [sending evidence to the Sheriff's lab]." Weinberg asks, "Do you know anything about it?" (The storage space where the Alhambra PD kept the clothing.) "That space specifically?" Dr. Herold asks back? [...] "No," she replies.

(I'm wondering if Weinberg will try to argue that the water stain on Spector's right shirt cuff could have happened when he was at the station in police custody.)

Weinberg shows her a photo of Spector taken at the Alhambra jail with his pockets taken out and asks her, "Can you see any evidence of any mineral deposit on that white (? the shirt is black) shirt?" "No," Dr. Herold responds. (Ah. Maybe I missed hearing Weinberg correctly. Maybe he is asking if she saw any mineral deposits on ~the shirt~ that are white.)

DW: Are you aware that Phil Spector was examined by a nurse on February 3rd, Nurse Cari Caruso? [...] He was examined by a nurse and no trace found? [...]

Dr. H: That he was examined for trace materials? I'm trying to be polite here.

DW: It's a sexual assault exam.

Dr. H: To me, that's different than examining the clothes for trace.

DW: In regards to [the] clothes. You found nothing else and then you found [...] Did you find any blood? [...] Did you find anything else other than the one particle of smokeless powder? Did you find any foreign tissue?

Dr. H: I didn't get any shoes [for Spector]. I found nothing on [the] socks. [...] I found blood in the [pants] pocket.

DW: The shirt?

Dr. H: I found no blood on the shirt

DW: And other than [what you] already stated, you found no GSR powder on the pants, shirt or socks?

I believe Dr. Herold answers, "other than what I already stated" but it's not in my notes.

Weinberg moves back to the sexual assault kit collected from Spector. Dr. Herold states that she was never given any part of the sexual assault kit. That would have been handled by Steve Renteria, first.

DW: Is it your view that it [the scientific evidence] does not prove that Phil Spector
fired the gun?

Dr. H: I have to phrase it in my way. It is my view that the physical evidence [she reviewed] does not answer the question, who's finger was on the trigger.

DW: And based on the evidence that you have seen and examined, there is no physical evidence that is inconsistent with Lana Clarkson having pulled the trigger?

Dr. H: Correct. In terms of strict physical evidence, that won't tell you who's finger was on the trigger.

Evidence that she's examined that she's reviewed, it does not exclude the possibility. Weinberg is finished with his cross.

2:39 pm: Juror #11 raises their hand for a break.

During the break, Spector and Weinberg are at the edge of the well near the little gate. Weinberg is looking through one of his big black binders, laying on the low wall edge; Spector is beside him while Weinberg looks through the binder. Spector is saying something to him and Weinberg, still focused on the binder material, shakes his head back and forth several times, as Spector makes a small gesture. I find out a few minutes later from someone who overheard, that Spector was asking if Weinberg had asked a question [in a] wrong way of the witness.

2:54 pm: AJ is pacing in the well. There's only an hour left and he wants to get in as much redirect as he can before the long weekend. I'm certain that Dr. Herold will be back next Tuesday. There's no way they can finish with her today. AJ is ready for the jury but it appears several jurors still need to use the restroom in the jury room. Spector gets up from his seat to lean in and speak to Rachelle. During the break, Linda from San Diego tells AJ he needs to wake the jury up. The jury did appear a bit lulled before they went on break.

3:00 pm: Wendy calls the jury and at 3:02 pm Fidler takes the bench.

AJ first takes care of a little housekeeping and enters Dr. Herold's pencil diagram and more enlarged photos into evidence. All these photos look like they are 12" x 14." They are huge.

AJ: There's nothing that is inconsistent with Phil Spector pulling the trigger?

Dr. H: No.

AJ: What are you talking about when you say "finger on the trigger?"

(Unfortunately, my notes are a mess for Dr. Herold's answer, so I'll just type what I have.) "Fingerprints, DNA, or something about time. Even if it was a print or DNA associated with Lana Clarkson's blood, which would time the incident.... because there is a time gap of movement of the gun," Dr. Herold states.

AJ: So, there are a thousand things that could transfer DNA or fingerprints [in that time]? [...] There's hardly ever a single piece of evidence that ties someone to a crime?

Dr. H: Yes. Other than an eye witness it's the totality [of the evidence].

AJ: Taking Jamie Lintemoot's testimony into consideration from the first trial, the second trial and her reports, is there anything inconsistent with Lana Clarkson holding the gun?

Dr. H: Yes. The blood stain on the back of her wrists.

AJ asks Dr. Herold about the position that Weinberg demonstrated to the jury and Dr. Herold responds that the positioning he demonstrated would be impossible [for the blood spatter to get] on Lana Clarkson's wrists.

AJ: And that [single piece of] directional blood spatter on the webbing of the [left] thumb would be inconsistent with that [Weinberg's] scenario also?

Dr. H: Yes.

AJ goes over the blood stain smears found on Lana's left fatty thumb pad palm, and the scenario that Weinberg suggested that the stain was caused by the blood on the right side of the gun, and her holding the weapon towards herself. The evidence photo shows part of the stains and you can see that there is a void area between them.

AJ: Is that [stain on her wrists] consistent with what you see all the way up [...] That portion of the thumb was not consistent with the demonstration that Mr. Weinberg did was it?

Dr. H: No.

AJ: That [blood stain] is consistent with Phil Spector placing the gun in Lana Clarkson's left hand?

Dr. H: That is possible.

AJ: You don't simply take one item [of evidence] and look at it in a vacuum?

Dr. H: No.

AJ: That would be looking in a vacuum?

Dr. H: Correct.

AJ: That would be wrong?

Dr. H: I can't take a question in isolation. I have to take in all the evidence. I'm sorry, before I say yes or no, it looks like I'm hesitating, but I'm considering everything.

Regarding the blood spatter on Spector's white wool jacket, AJ asks several questions.

AJ: There are things you can exclude, correct? [...] You can exclude Phil Spector was standing across the room, correct? [...] You can exclude that he was standing more than three feet away, correct? [...] You can exclude it came from coughing [...] or sneezing [...] or CPR...? (Dr. Herold does answer "yes" to all these questions.)

AJ: The only thing left for the source of blood on Mr. Spector's jacket was the gunshot event and he has to be where?

Dr. H: Within two to three feet.

AJ moves on to discussing control of evidence in the crime lab. In cross, Mr. Weinberg went into detail over the fact that the individuals at the crime lab can look at the evidence any time they want, but the defense had to make an appointment and on one occasion, there were individuals from the crime lab who were observing them the entire time. (Dr. Herold corrected Mr. Weinberg and said those individuals were from the DA's office.) AJ asks Dr. Herold what the prosecution has to do if they want to make an appointment. "Schedule an appointment," she replies. AJ asks if the defense was given "unfettered" access to all the evidence. I believe she replies "yes". AJ goes onto detail how the defense team was waiting outside the crime tape at the scene, ready to enter once the scene was cleared.

AJ also asks if experts from the defense, Dr. Baden and Dr. Wecht were allowed access to the autopsy? Dr. Herold replies yes. "Did Dr. Lee and (?) look at evidence?" AJ asks. "I hauled in approximately 100 pieces and they were there four hours," she replies. Regarding the second defense team, the judge ruled that the prosecution was not allowed to even know who showed up at the lab. A special master had to be appointed. I had to meet with the special master to to train him on how to handle evidence. She remembers when this happened because it was Mother's Day weekend. (I found this very interesting that Weinberg went so far as to request this of the judge. It shows just how far he went to keep the prosecution off guard as to "who" his expert witnesses are really going to be. It went farther than just not turning over the "real list" verses the "fake list.")

AJ: Did you or anyone ever tell them they couldn't look at anything?

Dr. H: No.

AJ: Didn't someone come and make slides? (I believe the answer is yes.) Didn't Mr. Butters come and take the weapon apart?

Dr. H: They couldn't get the gun back together. Jim Carroll wouldn't do it; he didn't want to destroy evidence. Another expert was somehow able to get the gun back together. (For some reason, I just find this comical.)

AJ: Pex, Stewart James also came and were given access, correct? (I believe Dr. Harold answers "yes".)

In fact on eight different occasions, defense attorney experts or both came and looked at evidence, correct?

Dr. H: Correct.

AJ then brings up the argument that occured in her office between himself and Mr. Weinberg and that eventually, she did have a conversation with Mr. Weinberg alone. Dr. Herold said about that "Teeth were barred. I will mention that it was only among the men." The room erupts in laughter. AJ asks her about his request that there be a tape recording and the fact that he never received the tape recording. The recording would only be used if there was a discrepancy as to what was said.

AJ moves onto the blood smear pattern on Ms. Clarkson's left fatty thumb pad area. "Would Mr. Weinberg's demonstration account for the stain on the gun?" AJ asks. Dr. Herold replies, "The exposure is wrong."

There is a question about "muzzle flip" but I don't get the set up question. AJ asks if this is consistent with it happening after the gun was shot? Dr. Herold responds, "By definition it has to be because it's in blood." (I'm sorry I don't have more detail on this line of questioning.)

AJ then goes over the "stringy blood clotting" found on the bloody diaper, and the time frame from when it could be visibly seen in that state. Five to fifteen, three to fifteen. Dr. Herold states that, "It may not be apparent or appear stringy in three to fifteen minutes, depending on the environment. After the 15 minutes, it goes into the big, gobby state. [...] There are some studies that state it would take an hour [to get to that point]."

AJ: Blood got on that diaper with a passage of at least minutes?

Dr. H: Yes.

AJ then moves onto a blood spot on the right side of the gun by a screw in the frame. Dr. Herold states this blood drop is on top of smeared blood (underneath). The blood drop dripped down on the right side of the frame. "Which side was the gun on the carpet?" AJ asks. Dr. Herold said the right side.

AJ: The drop was apparently thick and dry before it was on the carpet?

Dr. H: If it was wet, then I would have expected to see transfer marks [onto the carpet].

AJ: That drop is on top of other blood on that frame? (Dr. Herold responds yes.) [...] Is that more scientific evidence that it was somehow manipulated after the event?

Dr. H: There was blood moved or removed.

AJ goes onto say that she was immediately incapacitated so it had to have been moved [the blood] after the event.

AJ then asks Dr. Herold to explain her pencil drawing diagram, and the tooth material that was found on Lana's slip dress. The tooth was not stuck to her as if it was wet blood attached to it. AJ asks why there was no teeth material found in the area to the right. Because something was most likely blocking it's trajectory.

AJ then put up the enlargement photos he had first entered into evidence. These are different blow up photos of the "white spot" on the front strap of the gun, that Dr. Herold testified was blood and Weinberg questioned that. The new photos are photos of this strap area that were taken from different angles, and you can see that the "white spot" is pink.

AJ: That's actually red blood in the photograph?

Dr. H: Yes.

AJ asks Dr. Herold about how far spatter travels and Dr. Herold testifes that you have to also define it by size, event, surroundings, target. The Carver article is brought up where scientists in Germany shot several calves. (They must not have PETA, I believe AJ comments.) In that paper the size range we're talking about (mist like spatter) only flew nineteen inches.

AJ brings up the fact that James Pex, a defense expert published on the phenomenon of backspatter mist droplets less than 1 millimeter can go back as far as two feet. Dr. Herold said she relied on that book. AJ brings up a statement by Stuart James (in his book), that extremely fine spatter may often travel twelve inches, but because of their very low density, can sometimes travel no more than two to three feet. AJ asks Dr. Herold if he wrote that before he was hired [by the defense]. Yes, James wrote that before he was hired by the defense.

Dr. Herold is asked about that outer perimiter of blood spatter on Ms. Clarkson. When she didn't find any (in an area) she went onto look at Lana' shoes. "And those had how much blood on them?" AJ asks. "None," she replies.

The statement Dr. Herold made famous at the first trial, "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," is discussed. AJ asks Dr. Herold if Mr. Kish, a co-author of a book written by Pex, Kish and other experts was the one who originally coined that term. Dr. Herold says, "Mr. Kish coined that phrase, especially in blood stain patterns [analysis]."

3:52 pm: Sandi Gibbons, the DA's spokesperson enters the courtroom and sits in the back row. Dr. Herold apologizes that in using the laser pointer, it has bounced off the wall and possibly hit someone in the jury. Judge Fidler states, "I think the lasers are low light and cannot harm anyone." Dr. Herold reads off writing on the side of the laser and says, "It says her danger, blah, blah, blah." Fidler responds, "Shows what I know." Dr. Herold says, "Well, there are a room full of attorney's here," and the courtroom erupts in laughter.

AJ asks Dr. Herold about the high velocity spatter on the cuff edge of Spector's jacket. She states that she relied on "Benton's latest book," that the spatter was deep impact. AJ puts up some photographs from the book and compares them to the spatter on the jacket. Dr. Herold testifies that the spatter on the cuff edge (that she observed) is imbedded deep into the fibers and not resting on the surface. The photos in the book show that a transfer stain stays on the surface of the fibers. It gets on the fiber tendrils but not deep into the fibers.

AJ then moves onto a piece of evidence that on the surface, is very hard to explain. That blood spatter on the "backside" of Spector's white wool ladies jacket. AJ puts up on the ELMO an image of Spector in the parking lot at the House of Blues from their security cameras. You can see that the jacket is quite long on him. AJ mentions that Spector has high heels on in the photo, or "platform shoes." Dr. Herold agrees that the jacket appears to be baggy and down to his knees [n the photo]. The jacket is particularly baggy. AJ then shows Dr. Herold the booking photo of Spector and asks her to note the platform shoes he's wearing in that photo.

AJ asks her if she remembers a statement by Pex, something about "you would normally see spatter on the lower [portion] of jacket sleeves." Then AJ and Truc Do do a demonstration for the jury. For the record, they state that this is not an "exact" demonstration; the parties are not the same height as the defendant and the victim. Ms. Do leans back in the chair just like Ms. Clarkson was found, dead, and her face slightly to the right of center. It's a very detailed demonstration, with AJ's hands and arms in a specific position. You can clearly see in this demonstration how the spatter could have gotten on that baggy underside of the sleeve. AJ asks Dr. Herold in the demonstration which side of the jacket is exposed to Ms. Do's face; to Ms. Do's wrists.

AJ: Does that scenario account for every single bit of blood?

Dr. H: No. It accounts for the back spatter.

AJ: Is there anything inconsistent in this scenario [with Phil Spector firing the weapon]?

Dr. H: No.

AJ: And in a suicide, you usually dont see manipulation of the evidence after the event?

Dr. H: Correct.

And that's the end of testimony for the day. The demonstration, in my opinion was a very powerful note to end on before the long weekend break. After the jury exits, Spector is standing at the defense table reading a piece of yellow notepad paper. The Clarkson family leave the courtrooom. Court resumes next Tuesday, January 20th at 1:30 pm.


Liz said...

Wow - your detail is amazing - well done and thanks

Dr Herold's detail & recall is also amazing

Bill said...

I watched every detail of this the first trial on Court TV. I appreciate your tracking this for me second time around.
Bill in Ohio

Anonymous said...

Is the jury really following this? Seems way too technical...

Why do I keep picturing Weinberg as sweating during the cross examination.

Sprocket said...


Understand, there are many questions I don't get written down, but I try to get the overall feel of the questioning.


Thank you so much Bill.

Anon @ 6:53:

Mr. Weinberg is not sweating while he is questioning. But he has tried to ask Dr. Herold broad, general questions about an issue and Dr. Herold is very analytical. She rarely answers a broad question with a simple yes or no. What usually happens is, she will pause, consider the question in relation to "all" the evidence and if the answer is complex she will state that and give a complete answer covering all situations.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Weinberg is following the same strategy as Barry Scheck in the Simpson murder trial. He asks question after question on small details in order to confuse (and bore) the jury. The aim is to make them throw up their hands and say, "We can't decide." I don't have to tell you that this has worked before in trials with celebrity defendants. Thanks again for your work in providing coverage for us.

David from Tennessee

Sprocket said...

David from Tenn:

However, Mr. Jackson does a magnificent job of clearing up the confusion for the jury on redirect. A much better job of prosecution than Marcia Clark. You can't compare AJ to Marcia. That's a disservice to AJ.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Detective Tom Lange said that Marcia Clark was the worst prosecutor he had ever seen on redirect.

David from Tennessee

katfish said...

Wow Sprocket, the jury may have been bored, but I must say reading this, I hung on every word!
(((* (Katfish patting Sprocket on the back)
With the amount of detail to this technical testimony there must have been smoke rolling off the page as you took your notes! Great Job!
Not surprised to hear Phil is still directing the show "Spector was asking if Weinberg had asked a question [in a] wrong way of the witness." perhaps Phil needs to take the stand and clear things up. LOL
Hope you are enjoying your long weekend off!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all the work you put into this. Much appreciated


Anonymous said...

It would be great if Phil would just testify--- and show everybody how he "didn't" do it, tell why there was the diaper, the gun wiped clean, etc. etc. Why there is a "team Spector" believing in his innocence when most everybody seems to have the opinion that he's guilty as sin.

Liz said...

Thanks for the update - the information on the defense "experts" was very interesting. Weinberg seemed to concentrate on looking for the "suicide" proof (my reading of your notes & I could, of course, be wrong) - so it will be interesting to find out what experts he decides to use for the defense.

And your detail is still amazing and you certainly pass on the "feel" of the questioning.

Concentrating and understanding such testimony must be difficult for all. One wonders how much the jury can understand.

Christine said...

Sprocket, can you give the schedule for this next week's testimony? Is it all day Tues-Fri? And was the prosecution unable to find out who the experts were as they came in at some special time and took apart the gun etc?

Thanks again for the great coverage. I am sure that Donna Clarkson will be a welcome change for the jury after all this nitpicking by Weinberg

Sprocket said...

Thanks again everyone.

Here is next week's schedule.

Tuesday is 1/2 day, afternoon only.
Wednesday is 1/2 day, morning only.
Thursday ends early at 2:45 pm.
Friday's is always dark.

Hope that helps.

I will be staying late on Wednesday in the hopes that I can get a seat at the hearing for Roman Polanski. It may be packed though, but I'm going to stay at court and try. I may take my laptop and work on that day's Spector coverage in the cafeteria until the hearing.

donchais said...

Great detail! Good job!

wes said...

you must know shorthand, I could never keep up with all the Qs and As like you do.

The prosecution is going to concentrate more on LC's LACK of suicidal and depression symtoms. In hindsight we know this was not well articulated last time. Wonder how Weinberg will handle the mother of the dead woman on cross.

Sprocket said...

Hi wes!

Honestly, I miss quite a few questions. I don't know shorthand. I try to get the gist of the direction of the quesitoning, but there is quite a bit I miss.

I think Truc Do did a great job introducing her emails under Dr. Pena. I still have to update that entry on how well she did, with more detail on the redirect.

I have to say about the prosecution team, they do a fantastic job on redirect. This is where, I think, they "clean up" what they have difficulty presenting on direct. They wait for Weinberg to ask the question, and they they present how that is impossible, or unlikely.

The cross of Donna Clarkson. That's the $64,000 question. She's a very strong woman, at least she has put on a brave face. I don't know if I could have sat through two trials about the death of my loved one and hear the trashing of her character. More is coming; bet on it through the suicidologist. I have the utmost respect for Mrs. Clarkson and what she and Fawn have endured.

katfish said...

My hope is that Donna Clarkson's training as a psychiatric nurse will help during her testimony....not only in holding up, but also articulating her feelings about Lana's state of mind as well as her credibility with the jury on her opinion about that. She is in my prayers.

ritanita said...

Sprocket, you know I am hanging on every word you write. I'm glad you're around when we can't get to see this trial.

The testimony I can't wait to hear about is that of Donna Clarkson. I trust Truc Do will handle her magnificently.

Unlike a certain mother we are reading about in the news lately, I'm sure Mrs. Clarkson will present her daughter with a realistic eye. Also, with her background, I'm sure Truc will be able to lead her through the questioning about Lana's state of mind.

It's so sad that she has to testify, but I'm sure she knows how important her testimony will be to get the justice Lana deserves.

Weinberg will have to find another tactic besides his endless nitpicking here and show some humanity towards her. Or, if we're lucky, he'll push her a little too hard and totally alienate the jury!

Have a good day in court tomorrow!