Thursday, June 21, 2007

"You knew this was going to happen."

At the afternoon break today, right before court was ready to resume for the last hour of excruciating cross, Alan Jackson was talking to his blood spatter expert, Dr. Lynne Herold. I didn't hear what Mr. Jackson said, but I did over hear Dr. Herold say, with a big smile on her face, "You knew this was going to happen." But let me back up a bit, and tell you a bit more about the start of my day.

I had a last minute opportunity to go to court today (normally I have clients) and it was too late to take the Orange or Red Lines like I normally do, and get to court on time. So my husband suggested that I drive. I was rushing, trying to remember everything I needed to take and when I got to the 9th floor I suddenly realized I left the house without my notebook! I had remembered to bring a book to read at lunch (Mr. Dunne had recommend Tina Brown's book on Diana, and I made a point to pick it up.), but I only had a single sheet of paper with me to write on. It was a coincidence that I even had it. The paper I brought was a print out of something I wanted to show Mr. Dunne, which he enjoyed reading. Right when I was running out of room on my paper, Mr. Dunne reached into his inside jacket pocket, and pulled out some pieces of his own personal stationary for me to write on. I was so grateful.

At the lunch recess, Mr. Dunne said he would meet me downstairs, and we had lunch together in the cafeteria again. We talked about the blood spatter evidence, and wondered how Spector's defense attorneys were going to spin it to his advantage. We just couldn't see how they were going to do it. The evidence appears pretty straight forward. Afterwards, I had just enough time to walk over to the underground city and get a notebook from the CVS Pharmacy there.

Cross examination of Dr. Herold began right after lunch. Dr. Herold took the stand and Mr. Jackson announced that he didn't have any more questions for this witness. Linda Kenney Baden took the podium, and immediately started her cross using that shrill, accusatory tone that we've all come to expect. The first few questions were an attempt to trip up Dr. Herold's responses today with her grand jury testimony several years ago. LKB tries again and again to put words in Dr. Herold's mouth about coming to a conclusion concerning blood on the gun. And each time, Dr. Herold has to correct LKB, and tell her that is not what was said, and that she never came to a firm conclusion about the smeared blood on the handle. LKB's hand gestures come out early, and she paces back and forth in front of the podium. LKB also tries to get Dr. Herold to say that, "she can't confirm that the body was not moved by paramedic or police" before the crime scene photographs were taken. Right about this time, Rosen walks up to the podium and gives LKB a note. Now, LKB is asking Dr. Herold who she talked to about the "tackling" of Spector.

A: I never spoke at length with anyone involved in the event of Spector being knocked to the ground.

And then it comes. Questioning Dr. Herold's credentials. Endless questions about how many cases involving blood spatter has she handled in her entire career, and what "percentage" of her work case load involves working with blood spatter, and how many "hours" is involved in the various things she examines. Dr. Herold testifies that her office doesn't tabulate or keep records of that type. It's all aimed at trying to show Dr. Herold is not as experienced in blood stain analysis as others in her field. LKB throws out the names of several prominent blood spatter experts and asks if Dr. Herold ever read their books or papers. She also questions Dr. Herold on a class she took in 2006 conducted by Stuart James (who was in the courtroom today), insinuating each time, that she "learned from him at that time," something specific about blood stain analysis. And each time, Dr. Herold has to correct her, and explain that she "knew that, before she took that class with Stuart James." And that's how it went the entire afternoon. Question after question that tried to put words in Dr. Herold's mouth.

When I showed my note to Dominick about what Dr. Herold said to Alan Jackson, he said to me, "You should write about that in your blog."

I will go into more detail on this days events, when I finally get around to updating my detailed Trial Notes.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for today's blog post! I had to miss nearly all the testimony. Dr. Herold is so important to the case. She seems truly unflappable -- I love her!

The defense took the same tack with Dr. Pena, trying to show the jury that information he used in making decisions was learned from their experts. In other words, "You state witnesses are lowly peons...we have got the big guns, who taught you all you know, on our side! You can't possibly know better or know more than they do!"

I really think that won't fly with the jury. In fact, if they're like a lot of us out here in the general public, they probably REALLY like Dr. H and may even feel a little protective of her, being picked on by the "big guns" defense. That tactic may backfire for LKB, et al.

As always, I loved reading your account of the day's events. You bring it all to life for us and provide so much interesting detail that we NEVER hear about anywhere else. Keep it up!

Love ya! :-)

Sprocket said...

Thank you sherbie! Most of the reporters were wondering how long this cross will go on. Monday is going to be another grueling day of the same.

Anonymous said...

sprocket - just wanted to thank you as so many others have for your time and dedication to coverage of this trial. I am pleased for the inside info and insight you provide here and on the CTV boards, and envious of your opportunity to interact with the esteemed Mr. Dunne. Just to share some time with him in the cafeteria would be fantastic.
Fascinating all around!!
thanks again,
Sue in Eugene ORegon

Sprocket said...

Thank you very much Sue! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I am very grateful that I have a support system at home that is allowing me to indulge myself with three days of trial a week. It is just happenstance that I got to side beside Mr. Dunne. Really.

Just about every time Mr. Dunne is in the hallway before court or during breaks, someone comes up to him to compliment him. He is very gracious to everyone who does, and he commented to me about how he feels about it.