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Accidental Expert Witness


 

 

Expert Witness No. 2111
 

Forensic Firearms Consultant & Instructor

Retired NYPD Detective and practicing forensic firearms examiner/training consultant in the fields of firearms operability, microscopic analysis of ballistics evidence and shooting incident reconstruction. I’ve provided professional assistance to attorneys, municipalities and law enforcement agencies for case evaluation, courtroom and trial presentation in both criminal prosecution and civil litigation in sixteen different states since my service retirement in 1998.

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Experience

 

Expert has been an active firearms examiner for the past twenty-eight (28) years since 1989. He successfully completed more than twelve-thousand (12,000) firearms related cases while assigned to the NYPD Ballistics Squad from 1989 through 1998. These cases encompassed a wide variety of homicides, attempted murders, assaults and weapons possession charges throughout the five boroughs of the City of New York. Expert also assisted a number of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies with investigations of firearms related incidents.

Expert has provided expert testimony at more than six-hundred (650+) trials conducted in various federal, state and county jurisdictions in multiple states. He has been recognized as an expert witness at trials linked to firearms, firearms operability, ballistics, firearms identification, microscopy, shooting incident reconstruction, gunshot-residue analysis and muzzle-to-target distance determination examinations. Expert has also presented expert testimony at a number of civil trials while assisting counsel for both the plaintiff and defendants.

Expert has been assigned as an independent consultant in over five hundred (500+) firearms related cases since his service retirement in 1998. He has assisted hundreds of attorneys in case analysis, trial preparation and presentation at criminal and civil trials conducted in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Maryland, Delaware, Kansas, Vermont, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and North Dakota.

Expert has created and/or instructed a number of forensic training programs for firearms identification, shooting incident reconstruction and expert witness courtroom testimony. These programs have been used to educate many hundreds of firearm examiners, investigators and police officers in crime laboratories operated by the New York City Police Department (2000 – 2005 and again in 2014 - present), City of Philadelphia Police Department, Arkansas and Louisiana State Police Crime Labs, the Connecticut Division of Scientific Services, the Houston Police Department, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratories.

Expert continues his education and professional development and has attended more than fifty (50) training courses offering over one thousand (1,000) hours of basic and advanced forensic related instruction in many forensic scientific fields.

Forensic Firearm Consultation – (1998 to Present)

  • Conducting independent examination and evaluation for a variety of firearms and shooting related cases using recognized analytical techniques. Providing expert witness courtroom testimony on an assortment of criminal and civil cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Recognized as an expert in firearms, firearms operability, ballistics, firearms identification, microscopy, shooting incident reconstruction and gunshot residue testing & analysis.
  • Retained as a member of an advisory shooting incident reconstruction team which traveled to Abu Dhabi, UAE and investigated gunshot related injuries to United Arab Emirates military personnel deployed to Iraq by assessing the bullet resistant properties of government vehicles.
  • Retained as a forensic consultant in criminal and civil litigation pertaining to police related shootings in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Texas, Maryland and Virginia.
  • Assisted both defense counsel and prosecutors with trial preparation and presentation as an expert witness in the fields of shooting reconstruction, ballistics, firearms operability and microscopic examination of shooting related evidence.
  • Provided professional assistance for criminal defense, prosecutions and civil litigation cases concerning murder, assault and weapons possession in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Kansas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Vermont and Florida.
  • Retained as a forensic consultant by the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team an internationally recognized organization supported by the United Nations and charged with the forensic investigation of discovered mass graves throughout the world.
  • Examined firearms and microscopic evidence, interpreted scientific reports, crime scene documents and medical examiner findings in over five hundred (500+) cases since 1998.
  • Provided scientific analysis, forensic examination and case preparation for civil litigation concerning personal injuries by an assortment of paint ball markers.

Shooting Incident Reconstructions

Conducting forensic evaluation of the circumstances surrounding shooting incident related cases. Providing scientific assessment of recovered physical evidence from shooting incidents to establish how the incident occurred. Performing forensic reconstruction analysis related to police involved shootings and unintentional discharges.

  • Retained as a consultant by attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants in firearms related injury cases in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina.
  • Retained as an autonomous consultant in police involved shooting incidents in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Texas.
  • Retained as a consultant by a number of private individuals to review and analyze questionable shootings resulting in the injury or death of family members.
  • Court appointed as a forensic expert in various criminal defense cases where shooting reconstruction determined the validity of witness statements. Conducted investigations of shooting incidents involving homes, offices, multi-family dwellings, public property and motor vehicles using ballistic trajectory rod analysis.
  • Evaluated crime scene reports, forensic documents, internal police investigations and witness statements associated with both criminal prosecutions and civil litigation.

Forensic Training

Established recognized training programs in firearms operability, moot courtroom instruction and microscopic analysis.

  • Retained in 2015 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (BATF) to create and administer a NIBIN screening program to members of the City of Philadelphia Police Department in Philadelphia, PA
  • Retained in 2014 by the New York City Police Department Crime Lab as a Firearms Consultant/Training Coordinator responsible for administering ASCLD/LAB recognized training courses in firearms operability, moot courtroom instruction and microscopic analysis.
  • Retained in 2013 by the Connecticut Division of Scientific Services Crime Laboratory and tasked with providing a comprehensive training curriculum for microscopy and advanced firearm identification of bullets and cartridge casings.
  • Retained in 2011 by the Georgia Bureau of Identification as a member of a team of senior firearm examiners tasked with providing a comprehensive training curriculum for toolmark analysis and advanced firearm identification of bullets and cartridge casings.
  • Retained in 2010 by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to provide forensic training in toolmark analysis, gunshot residue analysis and moot courtroom testimony techniques.
  • Retained from 2007 through 2008 by the City of Philadelphia Police Department as a Firearms Consultant/Training Coordinator responsible for creating two separate training courses for firearms operability, moot courtroom instruction and microscopic analysis. Successfully trained twelve (12) police officers and civilian employees as firearm examiners during this eighteen (18) month program. This training curriculum was reviewed and certified during a successful International Organization of Standardization (ISO) accreditation process in 2010.
  • Retained from 2001 through 2005, by the New York City Police Department as a Firearms Consultant/Training Coordinator responsible for creating three (3) ASCLD/LAB recognized training courses in firearms operability, moot courtroom instruction and microscopic analysis. Successfully training thirty (30) New York City Police Department detectives, police officers and criminalists in firearms testing procedures, operability analysis, microscopic examination and firearms identification.
  • Selected as a forensic instructor for the BATF National Firearms Examiner Academy (NFEA) 2009 and 2010 sessions conducting realistic moot court scenarios for the students at the US District Court located in Greenbelt, Maryland.
  • Designated as a member of the Forensic Advisory Group to the Director of the NYPD Laboratory assisting the administration of New York City Police Department Forensic Laboratory in attaining and maintaining a professional level of standards in strict accordance with the ASCLD/LAB requirements for accreditation.
  • Provided comprehensive training in an assortment of forensic disciplines to firearm examiners of Crime Laboratories in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana and Arkansas.
  • Retained by the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office as a Forensic Instructor, Firearms Consultant and Firearms Examiner/Microscopist providing fundamental training to eight (8) members of the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department in the fields of firearm operability, testing and identification.

ASCLD/LAB – International Assessor/Auditor Training – (May 18-22, 2009) - Certified as an assessor for accredited laboratories by successfully completing this course of instruction provided by the ASCLD/LAB – International organization. The curriculum adhered to the specialized system formed by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) based on the ISO/IEC 17025 general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.

ISO Assessor/Auditor Assignments

I’ve participated in thirteen comprehensive audits conducted to assess the following laboratories compliance with International Organization of Standardization (ISO) ISO/IEC 17025 standards.

  • In 2011/2012, I participated as an assessor conducting laboratory inspections of four Illinois State Police Laboratories (Fairview Heights, Chicago, Springfield and Morton labs) for ISO 17020 accreditation.
  • In March of 2012, I participated as an assessor conducting a laboratory inspection for the initial ISO 17020 assessment of the Plano Police Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit in Plano, Texas.
  • In October of 2012, I participated as an assessor conducting a laboratory inspection for the ISO 17020 accreditation of the Illinois State Police Metro-East Forensic Laboratory Scene Investigation Unit.
  • In November of 2012, I participated as an assessor conducting a laboratory inspection for ISO 17020 accreditation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Crime Laboratory in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • In May of 2013, I was retained by the Metropolitan Police Laboratory, Washington, DC to audit a number of previously completed cases to determine compliance with ISO/IEC 17025 standards in preparation for accreditation.
  • Also in May of 2013, participated as an assessor conducting a laboratory inspection for ISO 17020 accreditation of the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory (Raleigh and Western Labs) in both Raleigh and Asheville, NC
  • In August of 2013, participated as an assessor conducting a laboratory inspection for ISO 17020 accreditation of the Durham Police Department’s Forensic Service Division Crime Scene Unit (Firearm section) in Durham, NC
  • In November of 2015, participated as an assessor conducting a laboratory and deployable mobile laboratory unit inspection for ISO 17020 accreditation of the Defense Forensic Science Center (US Army) in Forest Park, GA

Crime Laboratory Experience - NYPD Ballistics Squad (Oct. 1989 to Sept. 1998)

  • Duties included testing many thousands of different firearms and microscopically examining shooting related evidence. Case results were then interpreted and evaluated before preparing forensic reports and providing expert court testimony. Additional experience included serial number restorations, muzzle to target distance testing and laser trajectory analysis of shooting incidents.
  • Completed 12,000+ cases of operability testing and microscopic examination of ballistics evidence. Testified and qualified as an expert witness in 550 trial cases in the Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of the United States Federal Court and in Supreme, Criminal & Family Courts in all five boroughs of New York City.
  • Participated in the investigation and analysis of cases while collaborating with members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), New York State Police and a number of law enforcement agencies and investigative units in the region.

Additional Training and Media Accomplishments

  • Lectured at universities, scientific working groups, and legal associations providing continuing legal education seminars (CLE) and a variety of law enforcement forensic courses of instruction in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
  • Trained and lectured to members of various state and municipal police agencies, prosecutor’s offices and sheriffs departments while providing forensic instruction sponsored by Montclair State University of New Jersey.
  • Appeared as a forensic firearm examiner on Court TV’s Nancy Grace Show, the Forensic Files series and the Fox Five News Network. Provided professional assistance to journalists from the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Boston Globe and Time Magazine for news articles related to firearms and shooting incidents.
  • Provided technical advice relating to the preparation of scripts for the Law and Order and The Good Wife series and assisted many authors, writers and journalists in novels, screenplays and articles relating to firearms identification, assassinations and murders.

Scientific Presentations and University Lectures  and Publications

Available on full CV

Specialized Training and Coursework -

  • attended forensic and firearms related training courses to advance my proficiency and remain competent in this profession. These include:

Firearms Analysis and Examination

  • BATF Firearm Serial Number Restoration School (NYPD Lab) 1/03
  • Wilson Arms Factory Familiarization Tour & Instruction (Branford, CT) 1/06
  • US Military Weapons Development Seminar, Aberdeen Proving Grounds (Aberdeen MD) 5/07
  • ATF Seminar on Military Weapons and Ammunition Testing, Picatinny Arsenal (Sparta NJ) 6/07
  • Ruger Firearms Manufacturing Orientation (Newport, NH) 4/08
  • SigArms Firearms Manufacturing Orientation (Exeter, NH) 4/08
  • Smith & Wesson Firearms Manufacturing Orientation (Springfield, MA) 4/08
  • O.F. Mossberg Firearms Manufacturing Orientation (North Haven, CT) 4/08
  • BATF Machine Gun Conversion Course (Beltsville, MD) 10/09
  • Glock Firearms Manufacturing Orientation (Smyrna, GA) 8/11
  • Firearms Sound Suppressor Familiarization Course (New Orleans, LA) 5/16

 

Microscopy

  • National Integrated Ballistic Information Network Training Course (Largo, FL) 6/02
  • New York Microscopical Symposium at John Jay College (New York City, NY) 4/05
  • Polarized Light Microscopy Workshop, NY Microscopical Society (Montclair, NJ) 10/07
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM/EDX) Orientation (Philadelphia, PA) 7/08
  • Comparison Microscopy Illumination Workshop (Hillsborough, NJ) 4/09
  • Modern Illumination & Imaging Techniques for Comparison Microscopy (Clifton, NJ) 6/16

Toolmark Analysis

  • Introduction to Forensic Impression and Pattern Evidence (NYPD Lab) 4/97
  • F.B.I. Toolmark Examination & Evaluation Training Course (Springfield, MA) 6/06
  • Toolmark Seminar, New York Microscopical Society (New York, NY) 4/10

Forensic Science

  • Expert Testimony & Evidentiary Law related to the Daubert Decision (Hamilton, NJ) 4/06
  • BATF Daubert Seminar at the New Jersey State Police Laboratory (Hamilton NJ) 12/06 
  • ASCLD/LAB International Assessor/Auditor Training (Pittsburgh, PA) 5/09
  • Ethics in Forensic Science (West Virginia University) 3/12
  • Perspectives in Expert Testimony (West Virginia University) 3/12
  • ASCLD/LAB International Assessor/Auditor Refresher Training (Online) 4/12
  • Standards Council of Canada – Accreditation Training Session (New York) 10/12
  • Trace Evidence for Associative and Reconstruction Purposes (West Virginia University) 5/13

Shooting Incident Reconstruction

  • Crime Scene Reconstruction of Shooting Incidents - FBI Academy (Quantico, VA) 7/95
  • NYPD Criminal Investigation Course (NYPD Police Academy) 11/97
  • NYPD Evidence Collection Team Training Course (NYPD Police Academy) 1/98
  • Shooting Incident Reconstruction Training Course (NYPD Lab) 5/00
  • Digital Imaging of Evidence Training Course (NYPD Lab) 4/02
  • Ricochet Analysis Training Workshop (San Antonio, TX) 5/02
  • Wound Ballistics Training Workshop (San Antonio, TX) 5/02
  • Shooting Reconstruction & Firearms/Toolmark Examination Protocols (Albany, NY) 11/02
  • Forensic Shooting Reconstruction Training Course (Prescott, AZ) 11/04
  • Gunshot Residue Chemical Testing & Evaluation Course (Springfield, MA) 6/06
  • Advanced Shooting Incident Reconstruction Training Course (Concord, NH) 6/08
  • FBI Shooting Incident Reconstruction, Trajectory Analysis Training Course (Fort Dix, NJ) 9/08
  • Crime Scene Photography Training Seminar (Valhalla, NY) 11/08
  • Principles and Theories of Shooting Reconstruction (West Virginia University) 2/12
  • Principles of Crime Scene Investigation (West Virginia University) 3/12
  • Principles of Death Investigation (West Virginia University) 5/12
  • Shooting Incident Reconstruction and 3D Laser Scanning Setup (Buffalo, NY) 6/12

Armorer Coursework

  • Glock Firearms Armorer Course (Westchester, NY) 3/95
  • Heckler & Koch Model MP5, USP & Shotgun Armorer Course (Toms River, NJ) 3/97
  • Mossberg Shotgun Armorer Course (NYPD Police Academy) 8/97
  • Ruger Firearms, Model G100 Revolver Armorer Course (Springfield, MA) 6/06
  • Sig Sauer Firearms, Model 220, 229 Pistol Armorer Course (Hamilton NJ) 8/06

Professional Development

  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar (Annapolis, MD) 7/97
  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar (Williamsburg, VA) 7/99
  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar (San Antonio, TX) 5/02
  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar (Philadelphia, PA) 5/03
  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners, Eastern Regional (Hamilton, NJ) 11/04
  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar (Indianapolis, IN) 6/05
  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar (Springfield, MA) 6/06
  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners, Eastern Regional (Beltsville, MD) 10/09
  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar (Buffalo, NY) 6/12
  • Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar (New Orleans, LA) 5/16
  • New England Firearm Examiners Educational Training Conference (Meriden, CT) 9/04
  • New England Firearm Examiners Educational Training Conference (Meriden, CT) 9/08
  • New England Firearm Examiners Educational Training Conference (Hartford, CT) 9/14
  • NYSIAI Regional Educational Training Conference (Williams Lake, NY) 11/98
  • NYSIAI Regional Educational Training Conference (Rochester, NY) 3/00
  • NY/NJ/Connecticut Tri-State Training Conference (Atlantic City, NJ) 3/00
  • NYSIAI Regional Educational Training Conference (Williams Lake, NY) 12/03
  • International Association of Identification (IAI) Training Conference (Boston, MA) 7/06
  • NJFFEA Training Conference / Bullet Deflection Analysis (Hillsborough, NJ) 10/09

Professional Affiliations -

  • currently a member in good standing, or have been previously accepted as a recognized member of the following specialized associations:
  • Association of Firearms and Toolmark Examiners (Regular Membership) (AFTE)
  • Association of Crime Scene Reconstruction (ACSR)
  • International Association of Identification (IAI)
  • International Association of Wound Ballistics (IAWB)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Associate member) (NACDL)
  • National Rifle Association (NRA)
  • New York State Identification Association (NYSIAI)
  • New Jersey State Identification Association (NJAIA)
  • New York Microscopical Society (NYMS)
  • Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists (NEAFS)
  • NYS Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Associate member) (NYSACDL)
  • New Jersey Forensic Firearm Examiner Association (Training Chairman) (NJFFEA)

Spring 2008 Newsletter

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