Monday, June 17, 2013

KELLY SOO PARK TRIAL SYNOPSIS: Part II Prosecution Witnesses 11-18

Continued from Part II, Witnesses 1-10....

Continuing with my series to present a synopsis of the trial.

Note: The jurors requested quite a bit of DNA testimony read back.  I believe (but I’m not positive) some DNA related testimony was read twice. Some commenter's have said that all the prosecution had was DNA. That's not technically correct.  Although this was a DNA case, the prosecution had other evidence besides DNA. They had testimony from several witnesses that linked Park to Uwaydah, and Uwaydah to Juliana. They had bank records that showed a total of over 1 million paid to Park by Uwaydah.  They had an audio recording of Park’s reaction to a search warrant for her fingerprints. They had blood belonging to Park at the scene. They also had a latent print from Park found on a plate in the kitchen sink. Sprocket.




Santa Monica PD certified crime scene analyst that responded to the scene. In fingerprint comparison she has approximately over 400 hours of training.  Over 125,000 comparisons in her career. Testified in court approximately 7-8 times. The on duty forensic specialist at the time and called to respond there. She explained her procedures of gloves and face mask to collect evidence.

She explains DNA collection procedures. Explains touch DNA. She was in charge of taking the crime scene photographs. Took all the evidence photos, everything except coroner’s photographs. Not aware of anything that was moved at the scene prior to photography.

Introduces crime scene photos she took of Juliana’s body, the living room and the kitchen area.  Juliana was missing a fingernail.  She located it behind the couch in the living room.  She collected the cell phone, computer and other evidentiary items.

She felt she saw evidence of a struggle.  Found several pieces of broken porcelain. Leg of coffee table is twisted. Location of lamp on coffee table, unplugged. Broken jewelry chain under another coffee table leg. Piece of gold chain on coffee table.  Coffee table with serving tray. Paper under tray was damp with oily substance. Believes a vase with same substance was knocked over. No oil on outside of the vase. Behind TV stand, saw a red dish plate. Couch cushion was missing a cover. It was never found.

Swabbed all stove knobs for DNA. Dishes and broken white porcelain in the sink. White porcelain in trash can. Small pieces of broken red porcelain. Items delivered to evidence unit and secured in a cabinet in the unit. Obtained clothing from the coroner. Introduces clothing to the jury.

In 2009, booked the fingerprint on the orange plate into evidence. Fingerprints are kept in the Santa Monica PD Forensic Unit, and not booked into evidence. In a review of the case file latent print cards, she observed what she thought was blood. The spot was under the tape just above the fingerprint.

She compared the latent print in the case.  She compared the latent print lifted at the scene to a 10 print fingerprint card of Kelly Soo Park. On June 18th, she received a hit from the latent print data base. Explains the analysis process of identifying fingerprints. She compared the latent prints of 21 other people. All were excluded.  Explains the peer review process.


Collected swabs are placed in a cardboard box taken back to the lab and allowed to dry.  For each stove knob did a dry and wet swab; placed in a separate box. Took swabs of the blackberry phone at the scene. She used one swab for the entire area of the phone. Did not use separate swabs for the screen, mouthpiece, keyboard.

The candle was not processed for fingerprints because of the type of surface. Vase and candle were not collected as evidence. Vase had no usable prints. The orange plate and every other item in the sink was collected as evidence.

Describes the science of fingerprint identification.  States that fingerprint examination cannot tell you when the fingerprint was made.  Explains again why the crime scene appeared to be cleaned up. No throw away paper towels were collected. No towels from the kitchen were collected.

About the latent fingerprint Funo collected from the orange plate. No one drew her attention to blood on a latent print at the crime scene.  March 17th, 2008 the latent print was entered int AFIS.

Does not remember specifically why she was reviewing the case.  She became aware of the blood spot in January 2009 when reviewing the latent print cards from the case. At the time no one drew her attention to the latent blood spot.

She is not positive “which” cabinets the case file documents were stored in. Explains the locked cabinets within her unit at Santa Monica Forensics Unit. there were 16 usable latents found. Some found by myself, some by Funo, some by Dye

Of the 16 latent prints recovered, five belonged to the victim and one to Park. No others were identified to a person.

No purple plates were found at the crime scene.

She collected hair because hair can potentially have DNA. Doesn’t know how many individual hairs were collected. She collected several clumps of hair and lists what she collected.  Also lists the various areas/spots she swabbed for DNA. She swabbed the computer for DNA. She did not swab the exterior front and rear doors for DNA.

Black neoprene gloves were found on the street in front of Juliana’s address days later.  She changed gloves in between each DNA swab collected.  Does not know if anyone touched the cell phone or the interior door knob before she arrived. She was told about the stove knob being touched prior to her arrival.


The candle was a burning candle, a surface least likely to obtain prints from.  People don’t leave a print each time they touch something. They may not have enough oils, hands could be dry or gloves could be worn.

Believes pieces of a plate were missing.

She was trained to swab as much surface of an item as possible. That procedure has not changed. 

‘Luminol’ testing used a similar product, called Blue Star. It does have other agents besides blood it reacts to.  The areas that luminesced. Living room floor near kitchen; living room kitchen thresh-hold; living room in front of couch; and living room floor near the bedroom.

The blood drop on the latent print card was about the size of the end of the eraser on a pencil. She advised someone, Det. Thompson that this might be blood.

She believes she recovered 68 prints. The remaining 10 unidentified came back to AFIS. The gloves located at 1522 Centinela which is north of 1521 Centinela on the opposite side of the street.  They were recovered on March 18th at about 9 PM.



Lead forensic specialist for Santa Monica PD for six years. The witness gives her CV for fingerprint comparison.  Compared over 200,00 prints in her career.  It’s common to peer review a colleagues work. It’s done to check for accuracy and errors. Actually the forensic lab has a three tiered review process.  After herself, a supervisor will review and come up with their own conclusion.

Explains the process if a supervisor and examiner disagree on their conclusion about a fingerprint analysis. She was the second level of comparison for the Park fingerprint. They were the same print. She describes the system, she works under for examining fingerprints: A C E Verification.(Analyze, Comparison, Evaluation, Verification)


She did not know that Ms. Zychowski had made a comparison when she did her comparison.



Santa Monica PD jailer who booked Park and took her fingerprints and palm prints.   Explains the SMPD system to scan collected fingerprints.




Deputy sheriff of LA County. Assigned to the Santa Monica (area) identification system, AFIS. The witness gives his background. The system he manages is a (computer storage?) depository of criminals who are live scanned and are fingerprinted.

System automatically compares it to all the unsolved latents in the system.  As of April of this year, there are approximately 200,000 unsolved latents in the data base.




Senior criminalist with Los Angeles County Corner's Office. Gives her CV. She went to the scene. Explains her collection procedure.

Removed Juliana’s clothing. Explains a sexual assault kit. It’s swabs and slides. Slides are to look for sperm. They follow a certain protocol. They start from the head and work down. Explains wet vs dry swabs, how they package evidence and let it dry to prevent mold contamination. Performed the sexual assault kit. There were three additional swabs she took that were going to be formally put into the sexual assault protocol (in the future).  Someone had suggested, that she might have been strangled, so they swabbed that area. Took 10 swab tubes so 20 swabs in total.

Explains how slides are packaged.  In individual slide card holders. There are a couple more things that they do. They do a pubic hair combing that is looking for trace material. They will collect hair from various areas of the body. They will also take fingernails. In 2008 they did fingernail scrapings.


Does not remember how many people were at the crime scene when she arrived. Performed fingernail scrapings at the scene and clipped the fingernails.   Determining time of death is outside her experience.  Decedents can be disrobed at the scene.  The body is not supposed to be touched until the coroner’s representative arrives.  There is no way for her to know if the victim was touched before her arrival.

She collected various other samples off of Juliana’s body, items that might be paint chips, hairs or fiber. She does not know what they were (she did not do an analysis of those items).



Santa Monica PD Detective.  Officer for 22 years. Working in June 2010. Detective Thompson asked him to obtain a DNA sample from Kelly Soo Park. Took an oral swab. Defendant was in the jail facility and under arrest at the time.




Santa Monica PD officer, assigned to Robbery Homicide.  He went to a Ventura County animal shelter to execute a search warrant for Park’s fingerprints. There were several detectives with him. Arrived at the lot, parked his vehicle beside the defendant's vehicle. Five minutes later, she exited the animal shelter.  He was given information on the vehicle prior to event. It was a gray Range Rover. Eventually made contact with the defendant.  Witness identifies the defendant.

When he made contact with her, he identified the other officers on the team, and which detective was parked in the driveway. There were other personnel in the area.  When he made contact, he identified himself. The entire event was audio recorded.  Bambrick describes what happened before the audio recording is played for the jury.


Bambrick identifies the make and model of vehicle he was driving. Ford Crown Vic, unidentified car. He had two partner’s with him. There were three cars with tinted windows.  Dressed in a suit and tie.  A Ventura Co. deputy was taking pictures.  Does not know why the event was not video taped.  States the intention was to serve the search warrant.  Knew she would be arrested at a future time. 
The witness is challenged on whether he showed Park his badge or not. The witness insists that he did.  Witness insists the recording only recorded the audio; not the visual. It didn’t surprise him that Park wanted to call her attorney.  Witness is asked to review a section of the Santa Monica PD manual. The witness states this part of the manual addresses when detectives are working in plain clothes.  Witness states he is not plain clothes. He’s in a suit and tie. Denies the real purpose of serving the search warrant was to make her afraid. Bambrick states it was investigative techniques and tactics.

Serving a search warrant for fingerprints is a complex situation.  It depends on the circumstance. Defense reviews some of the transcript of the video with the detective. Park was arrested for wilfully disobeying a court order. It went before a judge and the judge threw out the case.

Prosecution asks the detective to show is badge. He demonstrates how he showed his badge to Park by opening his wallet with the badge on one side and his business card on the other.  The court asks if his business card had an image of a badge embossed on it.  The business card is entered into evidence.
Detective Thompson told him that Park would be at the animal shelter. He was aware that there was a listening device on Park’s phone.  Reviews the procedure manual. There’s nothing in the manual that requires him to take a uniformed officer with him to serve a search warrant.

The witness did not offer Park his supervisor’s name and number to verify his identity.

Explains situations where that would apply. Park did not ask for his supervisor’s name and number.


Santa Monica PD patrol unit.  Officer for 26 years.  Stopped a vehicle driven by Munir Uwaydah on January 13th, 2009. He was pulled over for using his cell phone while driving. Uwaydah gave the officers two documents. One was a fake driver’s license. The other was a California ID card. On the back of the card was hand written, “Contact Kelly” at a specific number. The birthdays on the cards were different from each other. Uwaydah told the officer the driver’s license was fake when he was pulled over


To be continued in Part II, Witnesses 19-21...


Anonymous said...

Very interesting new information in your summary, like there were more fingerprints discovered at the scene, some unidentified. The summary lists at one point that there were 16 prints, and another place 68 prints; can you resolve this, please? Yet only one was KSP's? Were the other suspects (in our view) tested for fingerprints - Case and Gilroy?

Another new piece of info of why they thought the place had been cleaned up - the luminol test. If KSP had used a towel to clean up, it would explain her DNA everywhere from the towel, even if she didn't do the actual killing.

I think that the evidence so far has not confidently identified the killer but can only say that KSP was in the apartment around the time of the murder (and Case was at least nearby, from the phone evidence). I look forward to seeing if Sprocket's review gives us any more evidence.

I thought reading the jury instructions would be boring, but it was actually interesting. Sure wish a juror would speak up and tell us how they made their decision. Maybe they feel like some of us do that KSP was involved but just can't be proven as actually doing the killing.

I see Sprocket is involved with another case, so I really appreciate her time in continuing to help us understand this case. I'm ready to say that we will never know from the evidence for sure who killed Juliana, unless Sprocket comes us with more new evidence. One big point was that there were no one else's fingerprints, but it looks now like there is evidence that there were other people involved after all. And I've always wondered why Case was arrested and then let go. Now I have to wonder if his prints were checked against the others in the apartment.

Sprocket said...

The witness collected a total of 68 prints.

Understand that they did not have good prints from Juliana, since her prints were rolled from her body after death. The only good print they had was her right thumb from DMV records. This will be expanded upon in later testimony.

I don't think you can say, that because there were some prints that were not identified at the scene, you can say that proves other people were there when the crime occurred. Fingerprints do not tell you when they were left.

Since Case was arrested but never charged, his fingerprints would have been entered into AFIS. The only hit off of fingerprints collected at the scene was Park's single print.

There was a clean up attempt at the scene. However, we don't know how that clean up happened.

Assuming that the scene was cleaned up with a towel, to me, does not explain Park's DNA on Juliana's neck or clothing.

In pretrial motions well over a year ago, there was a "pink wash cloth" or "pink towel" mentioned that the defense was interested in testing, but they never tested it.

Sprocket said...

All the information in this summary/synopsis is in my detailed coverage of the trial.

Anonymous said...

My error - I must have missed the May 16 blog that details the prints and cleanup. I'm going over the whole blog again to see what else I might have missed.

Are we SURE that Case was fingerprinted, since he was let go?

Sprocket said...

There was no testimony about Case presented in this trial.

However, that being said, the prosecution witness, Michelle Dimas, who booked Park and took her prints, went into detail the procedures that happen when someone is arrested.

People who are arrested, their fingerprints are collected. I believe I can say with confidence that when Case was arrested with Park, his fingerprints were collected and entered into AFIS.

Sprocket said...

Anon @3:04 PM

A bit more information. You are arrested by a police department. You are formally charged by the appropriate county's DA's Office. Two separate agencies. Not being charged by the DA's office would not stop the police agency from collecting Case's prints.

Case was arrested, but never formally charged by the LA County DA.