Friday, May 17, 2013

Kelly Soo Park Day 5, Part II

Continuing Coverage from Day 5, Morning Session.....

Kelly Soo Park Murder Trial, Day 5, Afternoon Session

UPDATE 6/1: This entry was edited to place the postings in chronological order for easier reading. Sprocket.
UPDATE 5/18 12 Noon: edited for clarity
UPDATE 7:48 PM Afternoon entry has been edited. Sprocket.

1:32 PM
Back inside Dept 109.

Some of Juliana’s girlfriends stake out a place to sit in the second row.

The prosecution will interrupt Ms. Burke’s testimony with that of Dr. Pena.  This is the second time that I will have seen Dr. Pena testify. He was the deputy coroner who did the autopsy on Lana Clarkson. Clarkson was killed by Phil Spector in February 2003.

The bailiff calls the case to order.  Judge Kennedy's bailiff is a no-nonsense officer. He has been Judge Kennedy's bailiff since at least the James Fayed case, over two years ago. Sheriff deputies at the criminal court building come in all shapes and sizes, some of them putting on a bit of waistline weight. But not this bailiff. First off, he's tall and in great shape. I can't see an ounce of fat on him.  He's also quite easy on the eyes.

The jurors are brought in.

20 Dr. Louis Pena
Dr. Pena is a physician, forensic examiner, position of deputy with the LA County Coroner.  Describes his duties as a coroner. Determines cause of death and manner of death, whether the death is natural, accident, suicide undetermined or homicide.  Explains the autopsy photos.  Photographing the decedent can occur at all phases of the autopsy.  Their case number is included in all the photographs they take.  Explains the documentation of the injuries of the bodies. 2008-2159.

Typical for detectives to be present. Richard Lewis. Sgt. Herman, from Santa Monica PD.  Height and weight.

5’7” 110 lbs. Cause: Strangulation.  Manner: Homicide

Dr. Pena explains the neck compression, manual strangulation, hanging, and ligature. types of strangulation. This is a manual strangulation.

Based on his experience. She had numerous abrasions above her voice box area. Petechia was present in the eyes. Numerous petechia.  Neck compression blocks the blood flow, from the brain returning to the heart, and that’s what causes the petechia.

Diagram of autopsy.  Upper head diagram front and side. Autopsy document page 22. People’s 70.

Bruises on the left forehead. Purple, red, means that the time that these bruises were placed there, her heart was still beating.  Explains abrasions and the difference between bruises.  Referring to the upper left face. Had abrasions around the eyes. Abrasions on left and right side of the face.  There were abrasions on the right side of the scalp.

Dr. Pena appears confident, assured. So different than the last time I saw him on the stand.
 The frenulum (sp?) was torn.

Side view of Juliana’s head. Her friends start to cry. One friend quickly leaves the courtroom.

Her face had a purple discoloration, but not easy to see in the photograph.  I believe Patricia Redding did not enter the courtroom. Her father is here.

The injury to the left eye was from blunt force. It wasn’t from strangulation. Never going to get that from strangulation.

This is the lower part of her eyelid, next photo, right side, showing the petechia. Kelly Duncan, second prosecution witness, puts her head down and is upset.  Another friend is dabbing her eyes, trying not to cry.  Just like it has happened in other cases I’ve covered, watching Juliana’s friends become emotional affects me, and my eyes start to well up.  My heart goes out to them. 

Park occasionally looks at the image on the screen.   Mostly, she looks down at the defense table or at the witness. Witness Kelly Duncan, draws her friend to her to sit closer during the evidence.

Next diagram, 20g, diagram of the neck area.

1:53 PM
Detective Thompson enters Dept. 109.

Injuries indicate that Juliana was scratching, trying to get the pressure off her neck.  Dr. Pena continues to explain the injuries to the underlying structure of her neck. Explains how they know there was no instrument, ligature. Her hyloid bone was broken.  The bone function is to stabilize the base of the tongue so we can speak.

Does that bone fracture easily?
No, it does not.  In older women, it calcifies easier, breaks easier. But Ms. Redding is 21, it’s still developing.  Her’s is still cartilaginous, so it’s going to take more force to break the bone.  There was blood around the fracture. It tells us there was a neck compression event. It’s a marker.  His opinion is that it was manual, to break it. If there was a ligature, there would have been markings on the external surface of the neck.

Difficult to determine the amount of pressure needed to create these injuries.  Breathing will get harder, and a some point you will lose consciousness. Can’t tell how long it takes for the person to become unconscious. There is a window period, to resuscitate person, but after that, there’s brain damage.

On her tongue, there was  a large bruise that went from the top side of the tongue to the underside.  on the right side. She probably bit on the tongue. Could be attributed to seizure, but the biting of the tongue is more likely.

Dr. Pena goes over the injuries to Juliana’s head.  New diagram, skull diagram.  There were hemorrhages present on the skull, so she had blunt force trauma to her skull. Photo of the back of the head, her scalp pulled back and you can see the injuries. 

Greg Redding has his elbows on his thighs, his hands clasped together as he looks at the autopsy photos of his daughter.

All the injuries on Juliana’s head, could not be caused by a single hit.  All the head injuries occurred prior to death.  Other parts of her body sustained injuries. Another diagram, #20. Front and back of the body.  Besides injuries to her head, face and neck, Juliana had injuries to her legs, lower back, her heels, upper back and a few other areas.

2:11 PM 
Kelly Duncan leaves the courtroom.  Tom Chronister is intently following Dr. Pena’s testimony. 

Juliana had injuries to her elbows, which Dr. Pena said is a difficult area to get injuries to.  Feels the injuries to her back are from punches.  Injuries to her foot could be from dragging on a carpet surface. 

Diagram 21 side views sketch of injuries to her body. People’s 83, photos of Juliana’s back.  Points out areas of lividity and where the deep bruising was found on her back.  Confirmed through incision that the areas of the back had deep bruising.

Photo of the right side of her body, hip and thigh area injuries. Photo of her legs and injuries to her knees and the deep cut to her right leg near the tibia.  Close up photo of her knees and the abrasions and contusions.

There are two long red lines right along the center front (tibia) of her lower right leg. Those are vertically oriented, red abrasions. People’s 40, the injury to right heel. There is a cut on the heel.

Diagram on the screen showing injuries to Juliana’s hands are not documented.   Photos of the left hand. The acrylic is cracked on the ring and little fingers of the left hand.  Photo of right hand. There is no nail on the right thumb. Another photo of the right hand.

Performed a sexual assault examination. There was no evidence of sexual assault. Injuries are consistent with manual strangulation is evident in this case.

Cross. No questions.  Greg Redding left the courtroom at one point during the autopsy testimony.  The rest of Reddings friends, including Patricia and Greg, re-enter the courtroom.

19 Felicia Burke
Retakes the stand. Briefly explains how DNA testing is performed at Orange County Crime Lab. Pieces of evidence, the underwear, are up on the screen that she examined.  She did a presumptive test for semen. She explains how that test is performed.  Did not find any spermatozoa.  If don't find spermatozoa, test for P30, that was also negative.  Semen was not detected on the underwear.

Also examined the victim's tank top. She identifies the tank top as an item she examined. Examining it for the presence of body fluids, specifically looking for semen. Like the underwear, also examined the tank top with an alternate light source. Refers to her notes for the results of her testing. Identified 10 areas for further testing.  One area on the top was positive for semen. Did not see spermatozoa. Then looked for P30, that test was negative, so did not detect semen on the tank top.

Retained the tank top at the laboratory. Also received sexual assault kit and what it contained. Reads from her notes.  Goes into detail as to the DNA extraction process with the items found in the sexual assault kit.  Put several items forward for DNA extraction: Oral swab, two neck swabs, external genital swab, and anal swab for further testing.  She did the extraction process for the neck swabs. Then the items are placed on a quatation (sp?) batch. Also extracted the right and left wet nipple swabs. Also extracted some fingernail scrapings and clippings. All of the information system is captured in their information management system. Management and DNA system is where the results were stored and managed. That was the end of her job with this evidence at that time.

Examined other items, gold chain, Oxyclean bottle. She examined at least fifteen to 20 items.  Some of the items are examined just for stain, to determine if they are blood or not, specifically dark stains. Not all are tested for sperm.

Also examined contact DNA swab from a cell phone.  Identifies envelope that has the cell phone. Her initials are on the envelope and tag.

2:58 PM 
Judge Kennedy calls the afternoon break. Juror #6 with husband on surgery on Tuesday, she needs to talk to her.  Doesn't know how long that will take. Maybe think about excusing her over the break. Maybe take some time to think about that.

Break ends.

3:21 PM
19 Felicia Burke is back on the stand
Opens the envelope that contains the cell phone DNA swabs.  Continues to explain the DNA extraction process.  Quantitation is the next step she’s describing.  I don’t write down much of this testimony, mostly because I’ve heard it many times before in other DNA cases.

Quantitation is our process where, we determine how much DNA is present in the sample.  She examined approximately 15 t0 20 items. “That’s on the low end, but I would say at least that many.”

They often triage the items in a case, and prioritize those items that might yield good results from the start. Generally, infrequently test hair.  First a trace examiner will examine the hair to see if there is a root that is sufficient for DNA typing. Generally, they are not the first items they would choose.

3:30 PM
Detective Thompson enters the courtroom.  When they are finished testing an item, they generally send it back to the originating agency.  Sometimes they have defense requests to examine evidence.  Can someone come in to review their notes to determine if what they did is accurate? Yes.

Cross by Kassabian.

Noted there was a positive amylase samples for the vaginal, anal, and rectal samples.  Yes, I’m positive about that.

Did you prepare a typed report?
Do you have that with you?
Would you review that please, and compare that to your testimony? .. I would direct you to the bottom of page 2, May 13th. 
Yes, I see that. .. Do you have a question?
Does it say there were positive results for the vaginal, anal, rectal, cervical extracts?

She reads from the report that there were not significant levels of amylase in those areas.  Doesn’t mean there were none. 

Collected 15 hairs from the underwear.
Did you collect any hair or fiber from the tank top?
What did you collect?
A brown fiber from the tank top. 34 hairs from the tank top. Something from the bag that contained the tank top, and placed that in evidence.
To your knowledge, were any hairs from her clothing tested?
And fibers from those items tested?
Not that I recall.
Fingernail scrapings were tested.
Any other fibers from the clothing tested?
Not that I recall.

Asks about the round table discussion with the detectives.
Met with detectives when they dropped off the evidence initially. There was another discussion with detectives but she doesn’t remember who was present.


Would it be uncommon to find hair in underwear?
No, not at all.

21 Annette McCall

The bailiff stands and stretches his back for a moment by the jail holding area.

Occupation, forensic scientist at Orange County Crime Lab. Been there since January 1998.  Explains her job and her CV and on the job training. Lists her memberships in forensics organizations. The Orange County Crime Lab is accredited. To get that accreditation, they are reviewed by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors,  (ASCLD).  As a DNA analyst, she is subjected to two annual proficiency testing exams a year, as well as one other.

Explains where DNA comes from and that it’s unique for each person except for identical twins.  Explains what type of body fluids can contain DNA. They perform PCR testing.

Park looks over at the prosecutor (or the jury?) for a moment.

A loci is the plural of locus. A locus, is the location on the chromosome. An allele, is just a sequence of DNA. A profile is, several loci, and put them together.  In 2008, they used ProfilerPlus kit, which looks for 9 loci, and two other testing kits.  Explains what a testing kit is.

All the forensic labs are on the same page. They look for the same DNA sequences. CoFiler system looks for 4 additional loci. Also contains some of the same as IdentiFiler, that looks for 15 locations.  Now, the lab just uses IdentiFiler, instead of the other two tests.  IdentiFiler looks for all 15 loci in one test.

Recently used IdentiFiler to retest some of the items in this case. Neck swab, exterior of tank top front and back, and right front stove knob.

IdentiFiler gives us those two additional loci, trying to get as much information with the newer technology as we could.

Why look at these 15 loci?
These were picked out by a committee by the FBI. Wanted to everyone to be on the same page.  These locations have high variations between people.

Testifies about how a case is assigned in her unit.  Sometimes the analyst would meet with detectives to discuss the items to be tested. Originally met with Detecitve Henry. Also met him with Ms. Burke.  We had looked at evidence items originally and got some limited results, and then discussed the most efficient way to test these evidence items. Ms. Burke was the first person on this case. The witness came on later.

She took over the testing parts that Ms. Burke wasn’t trained in.

A shedder is someone who leaves a lot of DNA behind on whatever they may touch.
Do people leave DNA behind whenever they touch something?
That’s not necessarily true.

When she runs a test, she can obtain a profile that has more than one individual. When there is more than one do you call it a mixture?
A major contributor is someone who left more DNA in the mixture.
If you are testing and you see there is a major contributor, how do you know if there is a second contributor?

It has to do with the peaks that are present in the analysis report. For every part of DNA testing there is a positive and negative control. A positive control is known DNA. Negative control, you expect to see no DNA. If they find DNA when they should have none, then they would know that there was a contamination.

Park looks over at the jury, or DDA Wiese.

A single source profile comes from only one person.

As the witness testifies, explaining elimination and non elimination of profiles, Park nods as the witness speaks.

Population frequency estimate, is based on population data. The method they use to calculate, this is also used by other labs. Her documentation of her work is made at the same time that she examines the evidence.

08-43964 is the lab's case number. 08-25440, was the Santa Monica case number that came with the items.

I examined around 50 items of evidence, and around 40 reference standards. This is a lot of examinations.

Believes she began working on the case in March-April 2008, and her last was in 2012. 

She didn’t examine the dry neck swabs, she just scheduled them for handling, got the results back from the amplification.

Describe the amplification that molecular copying process I spoke about earlier.
Going to copy the DNA millions of times to detect it.  The machine does that. Once that is done, it’s placed on the DNA typing instrument.

She looks at the report output, where the DNA markers is expressed in peaks on the report.

Determined that neck swab was a profile of at least two individuals. Juliana could not be excluded as the major contributor, and that the minor contributor was from a female.

Interpreted the vaginal and anal profiles from the sexual assault kit. Juliana could not be excluded as the profile.  DNA from her fingernails, only one source of DNA.  Only one profile from sexual assault kit swabs. Opened the sexual assault kit once. 

Swabs from the nipples, sent those for extraction and forward for testing. Obtained DNA profiles from left and right nipple swabs. There was a mixture from at least two individuals. One was a male, Brian Van Holt could not be excluded as a major contributor of the nipple swabs.  I determined that the source of the DNA “probably weren’t saliva.”

Tested the top.

4:13 PM
Judge Kennedy asks if this might be an appropriate time to stop.
Mentions Juror #6's husband having surgery on Tuesday.  Discussed issue with counsel to accommodate this. The decision is to not to be in session in this trial on Tuesday. Explains to the jurors that, "If you are an employed individual, that day will not count as a day.  We are way ahead of schedule, and the prosecution may rest their case on Monday, and the defense may rest their case on Friday."

Judge Kennedy advises them about their coworkers, and tells them that they can’t talk about the case at this time.

Advises them more about the case, and they must be more insistent about that.  Going to say, start at 9:30 on Monday morning.

And that's the end of the day.

4:20 PM Court is ended.  


Anonymous said...

So glad you areback inaction. I have missed yourblog terribly although I am very happy you are healthy and hoping the MR.s business is doing better. Any chance of getting the transcript from day 4? Best wishes Sprocket you are the best.

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 9:07 PM. All days testimony are complete. Check the Kelly Soo Park Quick Links list. You can find that by scrolling down on the right to find it. On the Quick Links page you will also find an up-to-date (well, as of this evening) witness list of who testified.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I actually meant a copy of the transcript provided to the jury of defendants arrest for fingerprints.

Sprocket said...

I'm sorry. I did mention that.

Hopefully, I'll have a copy of that on Monday. When I do get it, It will be uploaded to my Scribd account and an link will be added to the Quick Links Page.

Anonymous said...

how can Ms Park afford a $3M bail if they have claimed that their family is average?. her party just delays the case, all evidences point to her.. let justice be served to the poor victim and her family..Asian Americans are given a chnace to lead a good life in the U.S land and yet this is what they do ..abuse their chances and roam free like millionaires!!shameful!