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Brenda Bissette, Witness for the State


THE COURT: Stand and stretch if you'd like, members of the jury.

Next witness, please.

MR. PANOSH: Ms. Bissette. Agent Bissette, please.

BRENDA BISSETTE, being first duly sworn, testified as follows during DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:

Q    State your name, please.

A    Brenda Bissette.


Q    You're a special agent with the State Bureau of Investigation; is that correct?

A    That's correct.

Q    How long have you been with the State Bureau of Investigation?

A    20 years.

Q    Do you have a subspecialty, in addition to being a special agent?

A    Yes. I'm assigned to the crime laboratory in the molecular genetic section, where I perform forensic serology analysis, which deals with the identification of blood and body fluids. And presently I'm assigned to the DNA unit.

Q    And what specialized training do you have in the field of forensic serology?

A    Since joining the SBI, I've undergone an extensive training program, both in the areas of forensic serology and DNA analysis. I've also taken graduate courses in the area of molecular genetics, and attended various symposiums and workshops related to the field of forensic serology and DNA analysis.

Q    And you have an undergraduate degree; is that correct?

A    I have a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I did my clinical training in medical technology at the UNC School of Medicine and North Carolina


Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. And I am also a registered medical technologist with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.

MR. LLOYD: Your Honor, we'll stipulate that she's an expert in forensic serology.

THE COURT: Okay. Based upon the stipulation, the Court finds Officer Bissette to be an expert in the field of forensic serology and may, by training, education and experience, may express an opinion in that area.

Q    Ma'am, on or about October the 10th of 1995, did you have submitted to you certain rectal swabs, vaginal swabs, smears and liquid blood samples taken from the victim in this case, from the autopsy from the medical examiner's office?

A    That's correct.

Q    And what analysis did you do on those rectal and vaginal swabs and smears?

A    I stained the -- both the rectal and the vaginal smears, examined those under a microscope, to determine the presence of spermatozoa. I found none to be present. I also did chemical testing of the vaginal and rectal swabs, to determine the presence of semen, and found none to be present.

Q    And in the course of your duties, were you submitted State's Exhibit 84, the gun that's in front of you?


A    That's correct.

Q    And was that on or about October the 12th?

A    That's correct.

Q    And what were you asked to do in reference to the weapon?

A    I was asked to examine this weapon for the presence of blood, both visually and chemically. I failed to detect blood.

Q    And what portion or portions of the weapon did you analyze?

A    I analyzed the barrel, and then I chemically tested the entire weapon.

Q    And that includes the -‑

MR. PANOSH: May I approach, Your Honor?


(Mr. Panosh picked up an exhibit and demonstrated.)

Q    When you refer to the barrel, does that include the slide mechanism?

A    Yes.

Q    And you tested that portion of the weapon that would normally be exposed at the time it's fired?

A    That's correct.

Q    And your results are negative; is that correct?

A    That is correct.

Q    Showing you 92 and 93, are these the reports that


detail your examination and conclusions?

A    State's Exhibit 92 and State's Exhibit 93 are reports which I prepared in reference to this case and to the results that I've just testified to.

MR. PANOSH: Seek to introduce them. No further questions.

MR. LLOYD: Objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Overruled. The Court'll allow the introduction of State's Exhibits 92 and 93.

MR. LLOYD: No questions, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Step down, ma'am. Watch your step. (The witness left the witness stand.)



Published August 15, 2006.  Report broken links or other problems.

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