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Gunshot Residue Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Trace Evidence, Medical Photography, Gunshot Residue, Fiber, Bloodstain Patterns, Vegetative Matter, Controlled Substances, Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tape Analysis, Plastic Bag Analysis, Physical Jigsaw Fit,

Expert No. 1504

Forensic Consultant & Instructor Expert Witness

Profession

Practicing forensic consultant, expert witness, forensic instructor and training consultant in criminalistics providing recognition, collection and examination of various types of trace evidence.
 

WORK EXPERIENCE

Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office (SCME) (2008-2009)
Pathology Department/Photography Section
Medical Photographer

The medical photographer is responsible for photographing and fingerprinting all incoming cadavers and any associated evidence (for example, clothing). The photographers are also responsible for acquiring x-rays on bodies when necessary and photographing assorted items such as wounds, marks, organs or personal effects. In addition, the photographer is responsible for preparing and generating photos for medical reports, case files and court exhibits. Routine methods used include digital photography, image processing software and radiology with a digital x-ray system.

NYPD Forensic Investigations Division (2003-2008)
Trace Evidence Analysis Unit/Criminalistics Section
Criminalist, Levels I-III (ASCLD/ISO Accredited Laboratory)

The trace evidence analysis unit was responsible for conducting routine examinations including, but not limited to, the following: hairs and fibers, fabric impressions, glass, paint, footwear and toolmarks, plastic bags, pressure sensitive adhesive tapes, gunshot residue, physical/jigsaw fits, explosives and chemical unknowns using microscopic an instrumental methods.
 
As a Criminalist in the unit, responsible for the recognition and recovery of trace evidence of the above mentioned types from various types of evidence (clothing, vehicles, firearms and weapons, etc.) and additionally soil, vegetative matter/ potential controlled substances, apparent blood and bloodstain patterns, and additional stains of various origins (inks, dyes, etc.). Gross examinations were followed by stereomicroscopic examinations.

Routine methods of analysis (standard operating procedures) included visual and microscopic examinations, digital photography (standard and infrared), use of alternate light sources and filters, instrumental analysis and chemical testing.
 
Areas of proficiency included gunshot residue analysis (muzzle-to-target distance determinations), pressure sensitive adhesive tape analysis and comparison (for example duct, masking, packaging, electrical tapes), plastic bag analysis and comparison, physical/jigsaw fit.

Gunshot residue analysis procedures required visual examination, stereomicroscopic examination, standard and infrared digital imaging, FT-IR and XRF instrumentation, and chemical testing (modified Griess test, sodium rhodizonate test, dithiooxamide test). Tape analysis included visual examination, stereomicroscopic examination, micro FT-IR, XRF, XRD instrumentation.

Plastic Bag Analysis included visual examination, stereomicroscopic examination and instrumental analysis.

Microscopy training included stereomicroscopy, polarized light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Instrumental training included bench top and micro FT-IR, micro Raman, XRF, XRD, SEM/EDS. Photography training included standard digital photography and digital infrared photography used on micro scale and macro scale. Photography ranged from microscopic particles to crime scenes. Additionally, image processing with computer software was routinely used.

Also as a member of the unit, provided the following:

  • Developed standard operating procedures for plastic bag examinations and digital infrared photography and developed standard operating procedures and training programs for gunshot residue analysis. Responsible for training Criminalists and NYPD Crime Scene Unit officers in the area of gunshot residue analysis.
  • Conducted crime scene reconstructions of shooting incidents.
  • Conducted method validation of SEM/EDS, including training and development of standard operating procedures.
  • Provided testimony/given expert witness status in State and Federal Courts.
  • Responsible for laboratory safety including maintenance of laboratory equipment, chemical inventory and fire safety. Assisted in Quality Assurance manners including case reviews and re-analyses; specifically for ISO Accreditation.

 
City University of New York (CUNY) – Criminal Justice College (2001-present)
Adjunct Assistant Professor (2012)-Instrumental Analysis
Adjunct Instructor (2001-2012)- Biology, Natural Science, Environmental Science, Forensic Science

Responsible for running and maintaining instrumental laboratory and instrumentation (including GC, FT-IR, UV-Vis, HPLC, etc.)
Administer oral pre-laboratory quizzes to graduate and undergraduate students

State University of New York (SUNY) College (2009- present)
Assistant Professor (2012)
Adjunct (2009-2011)

Courses: Intro. to Criminal Justice, Criminalistics, Forensic Technology

Private Consulting Group Incorporated, NY (2008-present)
Forensic Consultant

  • Employed as a trace evidence examiner and gunshot residue examiner.
  • Generate reports on examinations conducted and provide testimony on resultant examinations when necessary.

Private Consulting Firm, NY (2001-present)
Research Assistant and Associate 

  • Conducting research in an independent laboratory
  • Performing various types of sample preparation and using microscopy and various
  • instrumental methods. Assisting in a variety of casework

Forensic Consultants, NY (2002-2003)   
Assistant on Forensic Casework

Handle, analyze and photograph trace evidence on a case-by-case basis on both a micro- and macro-scale. Assisting in reconstructions, including conducting small research projects to test scientific methodology employed during reconstructions   

EDUCATION
   
City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center (NY)

Degrees Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy, 2012

Master of Philosophy, Criminal Justice, 2011
Major
: Criminal Justice, Forensic Science
Concentration
: Criminalistics

Doctoral Research: The Chemical Analysis of Tattoo Inks. This dissertation is concerned with analytical methods for the analysis of tattoo inks and pigments, including microscopy, vibrational spectroscopy (Raman, FT-IR) and additional methods of analysis (UV/Vis, XRF) in an effort to evaluate and classify the organic and inorganic compositions of various commercially available inks.

Coursework: Spectroscopy, Chemical Separations, Expert Testimony and Ethical Issues in Forensic Science, Molecular Biology, Legal and Philosophical Issues in Criminal Justice, Science, Experts and Evidence, Impression and Pattern Evidence, Microscopy and Microanalysis

   
City University of New York (CUNY) John Jay College of Criminal Justice (NY)
Degree Awarded: Master of Science, 2003

Major: Forensic Science
Concentration: Criminalistics

Thesis Research: Infrared Analysis of Forensic Evidence: A Comparison of Transmission and Reflection Methods. This thesis compared three microscopic methods used to collect infrared spectra (transmission, attenuated total reflection, and reflection-absorption) in an effort to establish criteria for each method’s role in the analysis of microscopic trace evidence, including fibers on discharged projectiles.    

Coursework
: Advanced Criminalistics (includes advanced microscopic theory and experience), Advanced Instrumental Analysis, Molecular Biology, Scientific Firearms Examination, Crime Scene Reconstruction, Toxicology

   
Manhattan College (NY)               
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science, 2000

Major: Biology
Minors: Chemistry and Sociology (Criminal Justice)
Coursework: Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Physiology, Ecology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Anatomy, Microbiology, Histology, Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Calculus, Criminal Justice, Criminal Investigations, etc.

Honors: Phi Delta Epsilon Premedical Honor Society, President; Dean’s Honors List

Internship

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City (1999-2001)
Forensic Science Lab
Research Assistant

DNA extraction, purification, quantitation, and amplification from human tissue

Certification/Training/Coursework by Discipline
(Most certificates available upon request)

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Associate Member
  • American Board of Criminalistics (Requires taking and passing the General Knowledge Examination and yearly recertification through professional development), Diplomate


GENERAL

  • CPR and AED (Automatic External Defibrillation) First Aid
  • Certificate of Fitness, Authorization to Supervise a Chemical Laboratory (One Certificate currently held for CUNY-John Jay College of Criminal Justice and one held during employment with the NYPD)
  • NYPD Operator Qualification, Trained to operate department vehicle

Photography and Digital Imaging

  • Fuji Finepix Workshop (2008) Theory and Application of Infrared Photography in Forensic Casework
  • Practical Digital Imaging and Photography (2005) John Mackenzie, Instructor

Microscopy

  • Problem Solving with SEM, X-Ray Analysis and Backscatter Patterns (2007) Lehigh University Microscopy School (multiple instructors and topics)
  • Scanning 2006 Short Course: SEM in Forensic Science (2006) FAMS, Inc. (multiple instructors and topics)
  • Scanning 2005 Short Course: SEM in Forensic Science (2005) FAMS, Inc. (multiple instructors and topics)
  • Advanced Applied PLM (2004) McCrone Research Institute
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis, (2004) Lehigh University Microscopy School (multiple instructors and topics)
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy, (2004) JEOL   
  • Asbestos Identification by Polarized Light Microscopy (2002) Thomas A. Kubic and Associates

Instrumentation

  • AGFA Digital X-Ray System and Software (2008) Agfa
  • Basic Principles of X-Ray Spectroscopy for Forensic Scientists (2008) TAKA
  • Analytical Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography Workshop (2007) J.J. Wilbur Company and CDS Analytical, Inc.
  • Infrared Analysis of Controlled Substances (2005) Spectros Associates
  • HPLC and Software Applications (2004) Waters Corporation
  • Infrared Spectrometry for Trace Analysis (2004) FBI Training Academy
  • X -Ray Diffraction (2004) Bruker Axis
  • Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (2004) Oxford Instruments           
  • ICP Optima Instrument Series with ICP Software (2004) Perkin Elmer
  • Basic Mass Spectral Interpretation (2003) RMS Workshops, LLC
  • Atomic Spectroscopy Workshop (2002) Perkin Elmer

Crime Scene Reconstruction

  • Reconstruction of Shooting Incidents and Officer Involved Shootings (2007) Forensic Training and Consulting, LLC
  • Analysis and Reconstruction of Crimes of Violence (2007) Forensic Training and Consulting, LLC
  • Crime Scene Reconstruction of Police Involved Shootings (2006) Forensic Training and Consulting, LLC
  • The Analysis and Reconstruction of Crimes of Violence (2003) Forensic Training and Consulting, LLC
  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (2003) Forensic Training and Consulting, LLC

Collection and Recognition of Trace Evidence

  • Identification and Recovery of Biological Materials (2005) Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City
  • Crimescope Training (2004)     SPEX
  • Forensic Ornithology Workshop (2007)
  • Forensic Palynology Workshop (2009)

Locks and Toolmarks

  • Forensic Lock Examination (2003) Medeco High Security Locks

Explosives

  • Introduction to Explosives (2006) WFLETC

Fibers

  • Forensic Applications of Textiles (2005) NC State University

Firearms and Gunshot Residue

  • Firearms Distance Determination (2004) Forensic Training and Consulting, LLC
  • Glock Armorers Training (2004) Glock
  • National Rifle Association of America Home Firearm Safety (2002)

Tape

  • Introduction to Pressure Sensitive Tape (2006) DCJS
  • Forensic Analysis of Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tape (2005) FBI Training Academy

Paint

  • Forensic Analysis of Paint (2004) FBI Training Academy

Statistics

  • Chemometrics Workshop (2008) Interfacing Chemometrics with Forensic Research
  • Statistical Analysis of Laboratory Data (2006) American Chemical Society
  • Multivariate Statistics in Trace Evidence Investigations Workshop (2009)

Quality Assurance

  • Symposium on ASCLD LAB International Accreditation Requirements (2007) DCJS

Expert Testimony/Law/Ethics

  • Effective Presentation Skills for the Technical Professional (2004) American Management Association

Computer Forensics

  • Forensic Video Enhancement Workshop (2003) NYPD TARU and Avid Technology           

ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Symposia/Meetings Attended


Meeting Attendance
:

  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences Meeting (AAFS)
  • Trace Evidence Symposium (NIJ and FBI), Invitee
  • Eastern Analytical Symposium (ACS, et. al.)

Groups