Local News

Crime Scene Analyst Claims Durham Police Made Mistakes At Peterson House

Posted September 11, 2003
Updated December 9, 2006

— A crime scene analyst took the stand for the defense in day 44 of the Mike Peterson trial.

Tim Palmbach, an officer with the Connecticut State police, told jurors Wednesday he believes some evidence was not collected and maintained when police first arrived at the Petersons' house.

"I believe there were certain items of evidence that were not collected that absolutely should have been, and it appears some items of evidence were not preserved and packaged and maintained in a manner that would have best protected them, he said.

Palmbach told jurors police allowed several friends of the Petersons to wander through the house, violating basic police procedure. He believes those people may have contaminated the evidence.

Palmbach also testified mistakes were made a year later when SBI blood spatter expert Duane Deaver conducted his experiments in the lab.

Palmbach is also the assistant for Dr. Henry Lee, a forensic scientist who is known for his work on the O.J. Simpson case. Because of a schedule conflict, District Attorney Jim Hardin will not get a chance to cross-examine Palmbach until next week.

Judge Orlando Hudson ruled Wednesday that a member of the print media will be allowed to go with jurors Thursday afternoon when they go to the Petersons' house.

Jurors are going to view the stairwell where Kathleen Peterson's body was found. Hudson had previously ruled that members of the media would not be allowed to go inside the Petersons' house, but after hearing from attorneys for the media, he changed his mind.

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