Peterson Defense Attorneys Claim Technicians Did Sloppy Job In Preserving Scene
Posted July 29, 2003
DURHAM, N.C. — In day 19 of the Mike Peterson trial, defense attorneys are focusing on what evidence technicians did and did not gather the night of Kathleen Peterson's death.
Mike Peterson is charged with the death of his wife, Kathleen. David Rudolf, Peterson's defense attorney, claimed on the night of Kathleen's death that evidence technicians failed to take detailed notes and may have done a sloppy job in preserving the crime scene.
Evidence technicians tracked Mike Peterson's movements through the house by focusing on the bloody footprints he left on the floor. Eric Campen, one of the senior evidence technicians, testified that the footprints were clear, showing heels and toes, and they moved from the stairwell into the washroom and back into the kitchen.
However, another investigator, Vincent Bynum, contradicted Campen's testimony and said the footprints were just partial prints and they ended in the laundry area, not the kitchen.
Earlier in the day, Rudolf tried to pick apart Campen's testimony. First, he compared Campen's testimony to earlier testimony of evidence technician Dan George, who also gathered evidence on the night of Kathleen Peterson's death. Rudolf alleged that both technicians contradicted each other regarding when and where Luminol was sprayed in the Petersons' home. Luminol is a chemical used to detect blood stains that may not be seen with the naked eye.
Rudolf alleged that both technicians contradicted each other regarding when and where Luminol was sprayed in the Petersons' home. Luminol is a chemical used to detect blood stains that may not been seen with the naked eye.
Rudolf also alleged that the scene where Kathleen Peterson's body was found was contaminated and that evidence technicians were sloppy with their procedures.
"You weren't wearing head covering. Were you?" Rudolf asked.
"No, sir. I was not," Campen replied.
"So you don't know whether you were shedding any hairs while you were working in that stairway," Rudolf said.
"It's possible that I did. Yes, sir," Campen said.
Evidence technician Angela Ashby, who documented the scene with her camera, started her testimony late Monday afternoon. She will resume her testimony Tuesday.
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