Court hears attempts to block expert testimony in Davidson trial

Court hears attempts to block expert testimony in Davidson trial

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LeMaricus Davidson LeMaricus Davidson

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The court heard arguments Tuesday on defense attempts to block the testimony of expert technicians in the upcoming trial of LeMaricus Davidson.

Fingerprint technician Tim Schade, who's with the Knoxville Police Department, admitted to the court science is only as good as the humans carrying it out.

Schade also said finding a good fingerprint is an elusive goal.

A bank envelope, a Shoe Show pay stub, three trash bags in the trash can where Channon Christian's body was found in January 2007 and a Blockbuster membership card all have latent finger or palm prints that examiners say match Davidson.

Judge Richard Baumgartner noted that the defense isn't contesting that the prints belonged to Davidson.

The defense had said it doesn't plan to call any expert witnesses and wants to block technicians' testimony, claiming the method of fingerprint identification has insufficient scientific validity in death penalty cases.

In another motion, Davidson's attorneys also hoped to strike the testimony of police firearms technician Patricia Resig. They claim ballistic evidence proves nothing.

On the stand Tuesday, Resig cited study after study on ballistics testing.

The defense argued that the three bullets found in the body of Christopher Newsom, Christian's boyfriend, aren't linked to a revolver prosecutors believe belonged to Davidson and experts can't say all three are from the same gun.

Resig said marks on the bullets that killed Newsom match several types of guns.

One of Davidson's attorneys, David Eldridge, asked Resig if she considered herself a defense attorney. "Yes, sir," she said.

Judge Baumgartner hasn't issued a ruling yet on the motions, but he told the defense not to count on the testimony being blocked.

The defense has also filed a motion to disqualify the jury pool based on the answers people gave on the questionnaires.

Jurors have to be willing to impose the death penalty in this trial, and a higher percentage of blacks than whites are against it in the answers they gave.

Davidson, the other two defendants and his half-brother, Letalvis Cobbins, who was convicted, are black. The two victims were white.


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