Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kevin Neal, Convicted of Murder by Forensic Entomology

Counterpoint

Selvaggio next got Hall to agree that because secondary screwworms are restricted by cold temperatures, the fact that Ohio had a cool spring and cool early summer in 1997 might have delayed the species' entry into the area.

Tripplett, during his redirect examination, posed a series of questions to his witness that he hoped the jury would remember during deliberation. He wanted to establish that despite the scientific nomenclature, the PhDs and the expert qualifications, there was still a bit of guesswork involved in using bugs to predict the time of death.

"Although you've been involved for some time in what we've been referring to as forensic entomology, would you, Dr. Hall, acknowledge that forensic entomological evidence will have its limits in certain cases?" Triplett said.

"Yes," Hall said.

"And would you therefore conclude that there are some limits in this case?"

"Yes, I do," Hall said.

"And is it your conclusion that Dr. Haskell has stretched beyond those limits?"

Hall replied, "Let me phrase it this way. From my analysis of this, I don't see how a forensic entomologist could be as precise as is reflected in Dr. Haskell's report."

 

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