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Roy Lindell, Witness for the State


Next witness, please.

(The witness left the witness stand.)

MR. PANOSH: Sergeant Lindell, please.

The Court's indulgence for a moment.

(Time was allowed for Mr. Panosh.)

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

Q    Would you state your name, please.

A    Roy Lindell.

Q    And you're a sergeant with the Guilford County Sheriff's Department; is that correct?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And your specific duties are what?

A    I'm in charge of the evidence section and the crime lab


section for the Guilford County Sheriff's Department.

Q    In the course of your duties, have you received specialized training, sir?

A    Yes I have.

Q    And what was that specialized training?

A    I received specialized training in blood splatter analysis, photography, latent print examination, homicide investigations, various school seminars that I've attended throughout the years.

Q    And in order to be the supervisor, you have to be proficient in all of the areas of evidence collection; is that correct?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    In the course of your duties, did you respond to Brandon Station Court on the evening of October the 9th of 1995?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    And why were you responding there, sir?

A    I got a request from crime scene technician Brian Yarborough. He needed assistance at a crime scene on Brandon Station Court.

Q    When you arrived there, what did you see? A    I arrived at 21-- or I was notified at 2150, and I arrived at 112 hours. We had the Pleasant Garden Fire Department there. Crime scene technician Brian Yarborough


and other investigators were there, starting to investigate the crime that had occurred there.

Q    At this time, was the fire extinguished? A    At this time, the fire was extinguished.

Q    Was the fire department still at the scene?

A    Yes, the fire department was still at the scene.

Q    And who else was there besides the law-enforcement officials that you made reference to?

A    We had the Pleasant Garden Fire -- Pleasant Garden Fire Department; Captain Clark; Lieutenant Bryant, which is our special operations, which is a division that I am assigned to. Detectives were there. Fire investigators were there from Guilford County.

Q    Were there civilians, non law-enforcement individuals?

A There were no civilian law-enforcement individuals (sic) inside the crime scene, other than volunteer fire department.

Q    Okay. There were persons outside the crime scene tape?

A    Yes, there were.

Q   Approximately how many?

A    Under a dozen.

Q    And again, what time did you arrive there?

A    I arrived at 1:12 Tuesday, which was October -‑

Q    And what did you do in the course of your duties, sir?

A    -- October 10, 1995. Initially was to establish that


the crime scene was secure. We broadened the area and placed crime scene up and pushed everything back further. After that, was to get together with everybody that was there and to have a meeting, to see what everybody's objective was, to try to coincide everybody's efforts, so we could work together and not work independently with the fire department, the detectives, and with the crime scene that we were working.

Q    When you said you broadened the area, what do you mean?

A    We actually closed off Brandon Station Court. There's a road that leads up to what is called the cul-de-sac. The location -- there is only one house located on that road, and we actually closed off the road, to where you just couldn't get into that whole area.

Q    And after meeting with the various personnel and assigning duties, what action did you take?

A    I took a general walk through the residence, and I walked around the curtilage or the outer part of the house, to take a view with crime scene technician Brian Yarborough.

Q    And tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury about your observations and findings.

A    In viewing the residence, there was one bedroom window that was out, which I understood from Brian Yar--

MR. HATFIELD: Objection to what he understood.

THE COURT: Sustained.


Q    What did you do? What did you do inside the residence?

A    Inside the residence?

Q    Yes.

A    Viewed the general damage that was done to the residence, in relation to what the officer had informed me what he had noticed and what he had observed.

Q    After viewing the area, did you set about collecting evidence?

A    We next started taking photographs. There was -- the victim was in the hallway. Before we started doing anything, we -- I figured it best to go ahead and take photographs from underneath from the crawl space, crawled underneath the crawl space and took photographs, showing the position of the victim's body. At that point, then we started going back through and we had to have some time for the area to cool down. It's relatively warm, because of the fire and water and everything that was there.

Then we started an outside search. We went to a boathouse, which was to the back of the residence. Also was a shed back there. Started looking around for any evidence or anything that might be unusual, a general search, a little bit more detailed search than what was done initially at the scene.

Q    In the course of your duties, did there come to light that there were certain footprints?


A    We found some footprints around the boathouse. We later determined that those footprints were from the initial officer who was on the scene.

Q    In the course of your duties, did you supervise the fingerprint taking that we've already heard about the boathouse?

A Yes. I actually did the dusting on the boat itself and lifted the prints. Crime scene technician Brian Yarborough photographed those.

Q    And what did you do next in the course of your investigation?

A    After we went around the outside of the house and everything else, then we went inside and started to proceed to uncover and try to find what evidence that we could reveal the crime scene.

Q    All right. What did you do?

A    Generally, we took detailed pictures in color of all areas that were pertinent to the investigation, and the back bedrooms, the front room, the kitchen. We were starting to be concerned about pour patterns. And different areas of evidence were brought to our attention, the weapon and everything, which was collected at that time.

Q    And did you collect anything in regard to the weapon?

A    The holster. There -- I don't have -- when we collect an item of evidence in our department, the one that seals


the bag is the one that does the actual collection. Those initials that are on the actual seal is the one that does the collection.

Q    All right. Showing you State's Exhibit 95, is this the holster that you collected?

A    Yes, it is. It was resealed by Stormy Cross on 10/10/ 95.

Q    And in the course of your duties, did you collect anything else from that back bedroom area?

A    You're going to have to bring to my attention specifically what you're speaking of.

(Mr. Panosh showed exhibits to Mr. Lloyd and to Mr. Hatfield.)

Q    Drawing your attention then to State's Exhibit 96, did you recover this particular item?

A    The ignition key to victim's vehicles -- to victim's vehicle, yes, I did.

Q    All right. And State's Exhibit 97, an empty box of Winchester bullets, did you recover those?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    Where did you recover those?

A    This was given -- this was located on top of the chest in the right -- in the -- Excuse me. This was located on top of the tool box in the bedroom that faced the front of the house at the back.


Q    Okay. State's Exhibit 98, did you recover that, sir?

A    Yes, I did. This was a Remington Golden Saber box and shells, which was recovered from the bedroom, underneath the headboard portion of the bed.

Q    Are you referring to the master bedroom?

A    As the back bedroom.

(The witness approached the diagram.)

Q    Which room, please?

A    This bedroom right here. (Indicated.)

Q    All right.

(The witness returned to the witness stand.)

Q    In the course of your investigation, did you recover State's Exhibit Number 99, Item 30?

A    Yes, I did. This was recovered by Garrett Stonesifer with the fire investigator's office. He brought this to my attention. I collected it.

Q    Okay. And where was that collected, State's Exhibit 99?

A    This was in the hall, where the victim's body was found.

Q    Was it collected at approximately the same time that the victim's body was found or later?

A    Much later. It was -‑

MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, we'd seek to introduce 95 through 99.


THE COURT: The Court'll allow the introduction of State's Exhibits 95 through 99.

Q    Now, in the course of your duties, did you supervise Mr. Stonesifer and others in attempting to collect evidence from the area of the hole where the body was found, after the body was removed?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    How was that done?

A    I remained on the scene from Monday, October 9, 1995 -­or correction, Tuesday, the 10th of October, from 1:12 in the morning, until Wednesday at 415 hours, when we secured the scene. I thought it necessary we kept a crime scene individual there while we rotated other crime scene technicians in. That way, we was able to keep the crime scene secured, and also to have a flow of information from one crime scene technician to another, and also to coordinate any information or anything that might have happened during the investigation of the crime.

Q    And how was the hole area searched?

A    The hole area was searched by layering it, what we called layering it, taking it off in different layers, one piece at a time, looking at each individual piece. We were specifically looking for anything that would be out of ordinary, a shell casing or anything of that nature.

Q    And when that search was completed, was there anything


found, other than the knife that's previously been identified and marked?

A    No.

Q    Any shell casings recovered from the hole?

A    No shell casings.

Q    All right. Drawing your attention to the diagram there, and the bathroom that is right above what has been designated as the area of the hole -‑

A    Uh-huh.

Q    -- did you search that particular bathroom? (The witness approached the diagram.)

A    Yes, I did, this area right here. (Indicated.)

Q    You can have a seat, sir.

A    Uh-huh.

(The witness returned to the witness stand.)

Q    And that's depicted in State's Exhibit 16; is that correct, sir?

(Mr. Panosh handed an exhibit to the witness.)

A    Yes, it is.

Q    How did you conduct a search as to the bathroom, State's Exhibit 16?

A    We started in a clockwise fashion from the left wall and went around, looking at visually everything that we could see, and then taking all the items that had fallen down from the -- the insulation and everything that had


fallen down, removing those individually, and then looking through them. Then after doing that clockwise search, we did a counterclockwise search of that area, and did not reveal anything.

Q    Now, that area was covered with some amount of insulation and other debris; is that correct?

A    Yes, it was.

Q    And you removed that?

A    We didn't remove it from the bathroom. We moved it to one area that had already been searched.

Q    Would you explain that, please.

A    If you're searching in a clockwise fashion, you clear that area off, and then you move to another area, and then you put everything back in that area, and you continue in a clockwise fashion, till you get everything completely cleared around to the right. And then you're coming back and look again, to see if there's anything you might have missed or look at other areas you might have missed.

Q    In this particular case, did you begin by searching the bathtub?

A    The bathtub was more into the search.

Q    Okay.

A    It was later into the search. It was about midway.

Q    But you did search the bathtub and the entire bathroom?

A    Yes, I did.


Q    And were you able to find any shell casings?

A    No shell casings, no.

Q    Did you find or recover any evidence from that area?

A    Not that I'm aware of at this time, no.

MR. PANOSH: Your Honor, we've actually progressed further than we expected today, and this is the last witness we have, but there might be some details I've overlooked that I need to get into with him in the morning.

THE COURT: All right. We'll take the -‑

You may step down, sir.

(The witness left the witness stand.)

(A recess was taken at 4:52 p.m. until 9:30 a.m. Thursday, August 13, 1998.)



THE COURT: Ready to proceed?

MR. PANOSH: Thank you. May I approach?

THE COURT: Yes, you may.

ROY LINDELL, having been previously duly sworn, testified as follows during CONTINUED DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH: Q    Showing you then State's Exhibit 100. You previously testified that one of the first things done by the evidence collection team was to put up a tape indicating the crime scene area?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    Does Number 100 show that original tape?

A    Yes, it does.

Q    Now, you've also made reference to a picnic table area. Was that outside the tape?

A    Yes, it was.


Q    Using the diagram, can you give the jury a general idea of where the picnic table was.

(The witness approached the diagram.)

A    This being the front of the house, the picnic table was down in this area. (Indicated.)

Q    Off the diagram?

A    Off the diagram, actually.

Q    Have a seat. Thank you.

(The witness returned to the witness stand.)

Q    Now, what, if anything, was the area of the picnic tables used for during the evidence collection process and the -- first of all, the firefighting process and then the evidence collection process?

A    Whenever we needed to share information, we went outside the crime scene area, the secure area. We tried to keep the crime scene area as free from anybody being in there, unless they had something to do with the crime scene. The picnic table was used as an area to share information and a logical plan that we would continue on with the investigation.

Q    All right. And during the time that the fire was being put out and immediately thereafter, there were a number of civilians in that area, as is depicted in State's Number 100; is that correct?

A    Yes, there was.


MR. PANOSH: We'd seek to introduce Number 100.

THE COURT: The Court'll allow the introduction of State's Exhibit Number 100.

Q In the course of your duties, sir, did there come a time when you were able to determine the location of the Subaru in the driveway?

A    Yes.

Q    And how did you do that?

A    Took a measurement.

Q    What were the measurements, sir? How did you take them?

A    Let me refer to my note here. Just one second. (Time was allowed for the witness.)

A    On the left side of the gravel driveway, 24 feet, five inches from the passenger side front bumper, the front edge of the -- to the front edge of the cement garage floor was the victim's vehicle.

Q All right. Would you show the -- on the diagram where you started your measurement at the edge of the garage door. (The witness approached the diagram.)

A It would be this edge right here where the cement was. (Indicated.)

Q    And the vehicle was then 24 and a half feet back -‑

A    Correct.

Q    -- or 24 feet, five inches back?


A    Correct.

Q    Thank you. Have a seat.

(The witness returned to the witness stand.)

Q    When you examined the vehicle, what did you note about the vehicle?

A    The keys were in the ignition. Her purse was on the passenger seat, on the floor portion of the passenger seat. We opened the trunk. There were several items that were large boards, I guess you refer to them as cardboard, that were used for -- just display type stuff.

Q    All right. And the condition of the windows?

A    The windows were up.

Q    And the condition of the doors?

A    The doors were unlocked.

Q    They were closed but unlocked?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Did you then examine the garage door that led into the kitchen?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    And what did you find?

A    You mean the door -‑

Q    Specifically, what observations did you make in regard to the doorknob and the dead bolt?

A    Okay. The dead bolt was not -- had not been used. In other words, it had not been locked. There was a sheer


curtain -- the door was a solid glass door, with a wood frame around the glass. There was a sheer curtain on the inside. There was a mark of the latch part on the curtain. We processed the door, using fluorescent red powder and ultraviolet light, for latent fingerprints, both sides of it, and the doorknob.

Q    Were you able to find any fingerprints?

A    We found a little bit of ridge detail, but it wasn't sufficient enough to do an examination or do a comparison.

Q    Now, when you say "ultraviolet light," what are you talking about?

A    UV light, something would be similar to a black light that you -- it fluoresces the fingerprint powder.

Q    And what other process did you use, to try and locate fingerprints?

A    What they call Redwop. It's red powder, and it fluoresces under ultraviolet light.

Q    And you made a note as to the location and the size of the pry marks on that door; is that correct?

A    Yes.

Q    And what was that note?

A    The pry marks were not deep and appeared to be a one-half inch flat pry bar. It's just a dull, flat object.

Q    Did you also examine the location where the gas can had been and measure the distance from the door?


A    Yes, I did.

Q    And what was the distance from the kitchen door to the location where the gas can was?

A    It'll be on the drawing.

Q    Okay. Is that three foot, three inches?

A    Correction. It's not on the drawing. It would be about three feet, three inches.

Q Well, drawing your attention to your notes, did you measure it and make a specific note of what the distance was?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    And what was the distance from the kitchen door -‑

A    Three foot -‑

Q    -- to the location -‑

A    -- three inches inside from the garage door entrance.

Q    And that was three foot, three inches?

A    Correct.

Q    Did you also locate the keys, or were those located by somebody in your presence --

A    Yes, they were.

Q    -- the keys on the kitchen floor?

A    Yes.

Q    Do you know the location of those keys?

A    They were found on the floor, on the left side of the sink, approximately one foot out from the floor base.


Q    And can you indicate on the diagram where the sink is. (The witness approached the diagram.)

A    The sink is in this area right here, and they were found approximately right there. (Indicated.)

Q    All right. Would you pick up something and put a K there, for keys.

(The witness complied.)

(The witness returned to the witness stand.)

Q    Now, when you moved to the back bedrooms and you examined -- or first of all, when you examined the first bedroom on the right there, were you able to determine whether or not the items in that bedroom were disturbed?

A    No items appeared to be disturbed.

Q    No items disturbed?

A    No.

Q    When you went to the back bedrooms, what did you observe?

A    The bedroom on the right had a tool chest. As soon as you walked in, it was sort of catty-corner across.

Appeared to have been moved out into the room a little bit. There was some other items that were moved around, some drawers.

Q    And when you went to the second bedroom, which has been marked the master bedroom, what did you observe?

A    The master bedroom, upon entering the room, to the far


left back wall, there was a tall chest, which would be like similar to a sock chest or lingerie chest. These drawers were stacked on top one another very neatly. There was a bureau on the left wall on the right side. The drawers on that, some of them were pulled out. Some of the drawers appeared to be thrown across the room and items just kind of haphazardly just tossed around.

Q    And you've been processing crime scenes for how many years?

A    I've been with the sheriff's department since 1974 –

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. That's not responsive.

A    -- processing crime scenes.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    You've been -- All right. And based upon your training and experience in processing crime scenes, what was unusual about this particular master bedroom?

A    The mattress and everything, on first look at it, just initially appeared that it was really overdone, it was to extreme, in relation to the rest of the house. There just was too much. It was -- it just looked too convincing, that the perpetrator had tried to stage a break-in.

Q    In the course of your investigation of the weapon -­Do you see the weapon there, sir?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    I believe it's 84.


A    Right.

Q    Did you unload it or cause it to be unloaded?

A    We did unload it, but not at that particular time.

Q    Okay. I believe you noted the number of bullets on the bottom of Page 3 of your report. Would you tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury how the weapon was loaded, when you finally unloaded it.

A    There was one shell in the chamber. In the magazine, there were -- Just a second. I need to look at this. (Time was allowed for the witness.)

A    And 12 unfired cartridges in the magazine.

Q    All right. There were 11 in the magazine and one in the barrel; is that correct?

MR. LLOYD: Objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Referring to your notes, how many were in the magazine and how many in the barrel?

A    There was one in the barrel and 11 in the magazine.

Q    Now, of the 11 -- Excuse me.

MR. PANOSH: May I approach?

THE COURT: You may.

Q    Showing you then Number 85, is that the one that was taken from the barrel?

A    Yes, it is.

Q    Showing you then 84-D, is that the magazine that was


taken from the gun and the rounds from that magazine?

A    Yes. Those are 11 rounds from the magazine.

Q    And of those 11 rounds, how many did you submit to the SBI for testing?

A    We submitted two of the 11 rounds to the State Bureau for testing.

Q    And those were consumed in the testing, and therefore

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. This has all been told before by other witnesses.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    -- therefore, they're not present?

A    Correct.

Q    In the course of your examination of the gun and the area of the gun, did you recover certain hair?

A    We recovered a black hair from the barrel of the weapon.

Q    And did you submit that to the SBI?

A    Yes, it was.

Q    Now, in the course of your examination of the rooms, did you take or cause to be taken certain carpet samples?

A    Yes, we did.

Q    And where were they taken from?

A    They were taken from the dining room area, or the front room facing the house.


Q    And what was done with those carpet samples?

A    They were sent to the State Bureau for analysis.

Q    What type of analysis was requested?

A    For an accelerant, to determine what kind of an accelerant may possibly be in them.

Q Now, in the course of your examination of State's Exhibit Number 84, the weapon, what did you do besides unload it?

A    We did a visual view under a magnifier, using a high intensity light, to see if there was any fingerprints on it. The condition of the weapon didn't permit us to go ahead and process it at that time, and we didn't want to do anything to disturb anything that might have any other evidentiary value to it.

Q    When you say the condition of the weapon didn't permit you to process it, what do you mean?

A There was a, like a film on it, from the condensation from the fire. And we weren't down to the bare metal. It wasn't permissible for us to do any processing on it.

Q    And when you say "processing," you mean apply fingerprint dust?

A    Correct.

Q    And the purpose of examining under high light was what, please?

A    Under using a high intensity light, such as an


Omnichrome or a machine of this nature, where you have high -- different nanometers of light would reflect if there was a fingerprint there.

Q    Were you able to find any fingerprints on that weapon?

A    No, we were not.

Q    Thereafter, you submitted the weapon to the State Bureau of Investigation for testing; is that correct?

A    That's correct.

MR. PANOSH: No further questions.


Q    Mr. Lindell, you said you'd covered quite a few crime scenes over the years; is that correct?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Have you covered crime scenes where there's been a fire?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Have you in the course of your duties had to go into a crime scene after the firefighters had already been there?

A    Yes, sir.

Q The firefighters are always going to lift up mattresses and springs and -- to determine whether anyone's underneath, aren't they?

A    Maybe not in all instances.

Q    Most instances, though; isn't that right?

A    Possibly.


Q    In a fire situation, the available air and breathable air would be as close to the ground as possible, won't it?

A    Reasonably.

Q    And so, people trapped in fire situations will frequently crawl, in order to get the only air that's available to them, won't they?

A    Possibly.

Q    And they also might crawl under a bed, in order to protect themselves from falling debris, out of desperation; isn't that so?

A    Perhaps.

Q    So no firefighter would go into a fire scene without lifting up mattresses and springs, to see if anybody had crawled underneath; isn't that right, Mr. Lindell?

A    Not necessarily, but possibly.

Q So when you looked at the room, the master bedroom, and saw that the mattress and springs had been turned over, you knew the firefighters had done that, didn't you?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Did it occur to you that they might have done that?

A    They didn't go that -- in talking with the firefighters, they didn't go that far, once there was not a fire in that back room. There was condensation in that back room. Once they discovered what had occurred, they pretty much backed out of that area. 


Q    So when you went into the room later, when everything had cooled off, and saw the mattresses turned over, you thought the perpetrator had done that; is that right?

A    Basing on just what I told you, yes.

Q    And you thought those perpetrators had done it in order to fake a breaking and entering of some kind; is that right?

A    Well, to the structure, that the boxes were so neatly stacked and other items were thrown. There was -- on top of the mattresses, there was a drawer placed on one of the mattresses. If these had been thrown around, this drawer wouldn't have been in that natural state on top of the mattress -‑

Q    But Mr. --

A    -- by firefighters.

Q    -- Mr. Lindell, you really don't know whether the firefighters and other emergency personnel who were in there before you had moved any of that stuff, do you?

A    If they would have moved something, they wouldn't have put it -- placed it back on top of the mattress.

Q    So you know what's in the minds of the emergency personnel, and you know what's in the mind of the perpetrators; is that right?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    The fact is, you don't know what either one of those


individuals who were in that room prior to you's intentions were at any time when they touched anything; isn't that right?

MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: Well, sustained to the form of the question.

Q    You don't know what the perpetrators' intentions were, if they moved any of the things that you believed were moved, do you?

A    No.

Q    And you don't know what the firefighters' and other emergency personnel's intentions were, because you were not present; isn't that right?

A    Correct.

Q    Did you say "correct"?

A    But the stacking of the drawers in such a manner, and the throwing of some of the drawers and the articles inside, gave indication that it was to an extreme, which we hadn't occurred in any of the crimes in that vicinity like that.

Q    Now, you don't know what may have been concealed in that room that you -- that your agents never found, do you?

A    That our agents never found?

Q    Yeah, that any of the emergency and investigative people who came in didn't find. You don't know what was -­

A    True.


Q    -- taken by the perpetrators, do you?

A    True.

Q    Now, do you remember the way the dresser was constructed?

A    Yes.

Q    Did it have separations between the drawer spaces?

A    Yes.

Q    So, a person wishing to conceal photographs, letters, money, could have placed it under the drawer?

MR. PANOSH: Objection. Speculation.

MR. HATFIELD: It's not speculation. It's his observation of the drawer and -‑

THE COURT: Overruled.

You may answer.

MR. HATFIELD: Thank you.

A    That's true. But there was also a drawer that had money in plain view.

Q    How much money was that?

A    I did not count it. It was in an envelope.

Q    You don't know whether it was $5,500 or $5.50, do you?

A    There were several bills.

Q    Were they $1 bills or $100 bills?

A    I could not tell you that.

Q    You actually didn't count money that was found in there?


A    I don't recall. No, I do not.

Q    Now, your answer is, yes, it would have been possible to conceal papers, photographs or money between the drawers; isn't that right?

A    Yes.

Q    And the only way to find that would have been to fully remove the drawer; isn't that right?

A    A lot of the drawers on the bureau weren't totally removed. Some of them were halfway pulled out.

Q    But you just told the jury that what you thought was so suspicious is, the drawers were pulled out and neatly stacked. That's what you said on direct examination.

MR. PANOSH: Object to arguing with the witness.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Didn't you say on direct examination that what made you suspicious was, the drawers were pulled out and neatly stacked?

A    What I said was, there was a chest on the left wall. That chest had several drawers. Those drawers were taked out -- were taken out and neatly stacked. On the bureau, on the right side of the left wall, some of the drawers were pulled out partially, and other drawers were thrown across the room.

Q    When did you form the suspicion that the arrangement of the items in that room when you first went into that room


and observed them indicated that the perpetrators had tried to fake a B&E? When did you first arrive at that conclusion?

A    After looking at it for several minutes.

Q    Did you write that conclusion in your investigative report?

A    Yes.

Q    Do you have it with you?

A    Yes.

Q    Can you show me the line where you reported that the arrangement of the drawers and other items found in the room indicated that the perpetrators were trying to deceive the investigators?

A    Yes.

Q    Would you read that line to the jury.

A    Should I read that paragraph?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    "In viewing the scene from the point of initial breaking and entering, with intentions of larceny, it is important to note that none of the crime scene technicians that responded to any calls which have resembled the manner in which a drawer has been pulled out and placed or thrown in such a fashion, nor have the mattresses been moved with so much effort as to make it almost appear very convincing what might have occurred. Only two rooms were targeted. 


And the value of the property for the involvement does not relate to any instances we have on file at that particular time or now."

Q    So this was a committee decision that you just simply wrote up in your report; is that right?

A    That was my opinion.

Q    But you based -- wasn't your first sentence that none of the crime scene investigators had seen a B&E previously that looked like this?

A    After talking to the other crime scene techs and to the district officers in the district, we had not had anything like that occur, no.

Q    So you didn't know whether any items of value had been taken from the house, and you still don't know it today, do you?

A    Only what the family would have reported to have missed.

Q    And you based the committee decision that you wrote up in your report on two facts: one, that the drawers were neatly stacked; isn't that right?

A    Some of the drawers.

Q    And two, that the drawers were strewn wildly around the room; isn't that right?

A    Part of it.

Q    So you had two completely mutually exclusive reasons


for arriving at the same conclusion, didn't you?

A    The mattresses, and also, that no other rooms were tampered with or targeted, except for, the other bedroom had a little bit of moving around.

Q    All right. So you say none of the other rooms were tampered with, but then immediately you have to correct that, because you remember the tool chest, don't you?

A    Right.

Q    Now, the tool chest was tampered with, wasn't it?

A    The box wasn't -- didn't appear to even been opened.

Q    But the tool chest was tampered with, wasn't it?

A    I didn't say it was tampered with. I said it was partially out in the room. It might have been there while they lived there.

Q    Okay. So there's no evidence that the perpetrators moved the tool chest, is there?

A    No.

Q    Because if they had moved the tool chest, you would have been able to tell from the smoke and other debris that was left by the fire, wouldn't you?

A    Correct.

Q And you say that the tool chest had not in any way been tampered with, in terms of the various drawers being open or anything like that?

A    There was a desk in that room that had some drawers



Q    So the same pattern of looking for things in those two rooms continued into the second bedroom; is that right?

A    Correct.

Q    Now, was it your observation that none of the clothes in the closet of the master bedroom were tampered with in any way that you could tell?

A    No.

Q    Was that your -- they had not been tampered with in any way -‑

A    No.

Q    -- is that right? Well, doesn't that confirm in your mind the fact that the perpetrators were looking for some kind of thing that could be concealed in a drawer or under a drawer, since that's really the only thing the perpetrators disturbed?

A    If there were perpetrators, I don't know what the perpetrators might have been looking for.

Q    Now, you took a picture of the location of that gas can, didn't you?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    But you knew that that gas can had been found by Guilford County investigators out in the carport, didn't you?

A    Yes.


Q    And you had to ask around, to find out which firefighter had removed it earlier, didn't you?

A    Correct.

Q    So this photograph that you took and so meticulously measured the location of was completely contrived, wasn't it?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Did you tell Mr. Panosh a minute ago that the gas can was three feet and three inches from some cabinet or side of the room?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    But that three feet and three inches reflects only your best estimate of where somebody had found it the day before; isn't that right?

A    Correct.

Q    So the three feet, three inches is just a guess, isn't it?

A    No.

Q    What is it, if it's not a guess?

A    The actual photograph where the gas can was moved from shows the location of the pour spout and how it was actually placed on the floor.

Q    Showing the pour spout to have been deformed by the heat of the fire?


A    Correct.

Q    Was the gas can itself deformed by the heat of the fire?

A    Yes.

Q    And yet it -‑

A    Well, the gas -- let me -- let me back up. The gas can itself was not deformed, but from the heat that was generated, you could see where the pour spout was in relation to the area on the -- on the floor --

Q    Did you -‑

A    -- as to which way the pour spout was pointed in direction to the floor.

Q    What does that mean, "which way the pour spout was pointed"?

A That means that you could put it back in that location and put the pour spout in the proper location that it would have been originally found.

Q    Was the pour spout located on the pour lines that are indicated on the drawing behind you?

A    No.

Q    So the pour spout bears no relationship to the red pour lines that are illustrated?

A    No.

Q    It does not bear any relationship?

A    I don't under-- You're confusing the question.


Q    Well, would you look at the drawing behind you.

A    Uh-huh.

Q    Was the pour spout touching that red line?

A    No.

Q    So what's the significance of the location of the pour spout?

A    Every gas can -- most gas cans have a pour spout. On the floor, you could see the, more or less the picture of where the gas can was sitting, and also, it showed a picture of the direction that the pour spout was.

Q    Did you explain the significance of the location of the pour spout?

A    It's not so much the significance to the location of the pour spout as it is that you could put it back in that location.

Q    Did you say a minute ago that the gas can itself was not deformed by the heat of the fire?

A    No, not to any great extent.

Q    Isn't it significantly misshapen?

A    Yes.

Q    Well, how do you think it got that way?

A    From heat.

Q    Now, the gas can contained a quantity of gasoline, didn't it?

A    Approximately one gallon in volume.


Q    So this perpetrator or perpetrators didn't pour out all the gasoline?

A    No.

Q    What was the capacity of the gas can?

A    It was five gallon.

Q    Do you know whether the plastic of the pour spout is the same type of plastic as the plastic of the gas can?

A    No, I don't.

Q    Of course, it's flexible, isn't it?

A    Fairly rigid.

Q    But it -- you can aim it, you can bend it into the shape desired, so that you can use the gas can to fill up smaller tanks; isn't that right?

A    It's a fairly rigid pour spout.

Q    But it could have a different temperature at which it melts and deforms than the can itself, couldn't it?

A    It's possible.

Q    Now, the firefighter who originally observed the gas can, did you personally talk to that firefighter? A    I don't recall that.

Q    So you have no direct firsthand knowledge of where that gas can was or how -- what temperatures were involved, or anything else when it was found, do you?

A    At crime scene -- crime scene technician Brian Yarborough was the one that initially had control of that


gas can.

Q    Now, he's already testified --

A    Yes.

Q    -- hasn't he? And he really went in that back room where the mattresses were turned over before you did, didn't he?

A    Correct.

Q    Now, you say the dead bolt was not locked in the kitchen door, don't you?

A    Correct.

Q    Do you know where the key to that dead bolt is?

A    No, I do not.

Q    Did you ever locate that key?

A    I don't recall.

Q    Now, you did testify just a few minutes ago, when Mr. Panosh asked you some questions, that you -- that some keys were found in the kitchen; is that right?

A    Correct.

Q    And you found them?

A    Correct.

Q    And you took pains to say where they were found?

A    Correct.

Q    What does that mean?

A    We documented where they were found in the kitchen.

Q    What does that mean? 


MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    We made a note of where they were found in the kitchen.

Q    What does where they were found mean?

MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained. He's answered.

Q    Does it have any probative value?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Did you take any of those keys and try them in the locks of the house?

A    I personally did not, no.

Q    But you've already answered that you did not locate the key to the dead bolt. Are you saying that among those keys was no key for the dead bolt?

A    I'm not saying that.

Q    Are you just saying that you don't know?

A    I don't know.

Q    So you found some keys, and you don't know what they were for?

A    They are house keys.

Q    Are they house keys to Patricia Kimble's house?

A    That question should be asked to the investigating detective.

Q    I thought you were the highest-ranking evidence


specialist on this case.

A    Yes, I am.

Q    Wouldn't it be appropriate for me to ask you, since you're the one that came in here and told the jury that you'd found the keys?

A    I don't recall checking the keys to the door.

Q    Now, you said that you examined the Subaru.

A    Yes.

Q    And you found a key in the ignition?

A    Correct.

Q    Did you dust that key for fingerprints?

A    No, we did not.

Q    Did you examine the keys that you found in the kitchen, to see if they contained a key to the Subaru?

A    I did not do that, no.

Q    This is my last question on the subject of the keys. Is it fair to say that you have no idea if there are any locks anywhere on earth that any of those keys fit?

A    Repeat that again.

Q    Do you have any idea whether there are any locks on earth that any of those keys that you found in Patricia's kitchen fit?

A    Information was relayed to me that -‑

Q    Excuse me. Do you have any knowledge of your own?

A    No. No.


MR. PANOSH: He is answering the question, Your Honor. Could he please?

THE COURT: He's answered. Move on.

A    Information was -‑

THE COURT: You answered. You've answered no, as I understand your answer.

A    No.

THE COURT: If you need to explain that answer, you may do that.

A    Information was relayed to me that those keys did fit some locks.

Q    Who related that information to you?

A    I believe it was Detective Jim Church.

Q    Did he tell you whose locks they fit?

A    There on the premises, house.

Q    There on the premises?

A    The house, the house door keys.

Q    Are we playing a game?

MR. PANOSH: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Do you know -‑

MR. PANOSH: We'd object, please. Like to be heard.

Q    I asked --

THE COURT: Sustained.


Q    I asked you --

MR. PANOSH: We object to this.

MR. HATFIELD: He's going to object before I ask the question.

THE COURT: Let him finish the question, sir.

Q    I asked you if those keys fit any lock on the premises, and you said you didn't know.

MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: He's answered. That's correct.

Q    Didn't you say that, sir?

A    Yes.

Q    But in fact, you did know, didn't you?

A    I did not myself check any of the keys to the locks, no.

Q    But you knew the answer to the question that I asked you, didn't you?

A    I said I had information.

Q    And you chose not to give it to me?

MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Disregard that, members of the jury.

Q    Now that we know that you knew –-

MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained. That's not what he said,


Q    Inasmuch as those keys do fit locks on the premises, which locks on the premises do they fit?

A    I do not know.

Q    Were they keys that belonged to Patricia?

A    They were found on the floor.

Q    Did you take possession of them?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    Have you had continuous possession of them ever since?

A    Yes, we have.

Q    Then you would know, sir, would you not, if those keys were shown to any of Patricia's relatives, in order to ascertain whether they were her keys? Wouldn't you know that?

A    I did not handle that part of the investigation.

Q    Well, you're the evidence custodian, aren't you?

MR. PANOSH: We object to him arguing with the witness.

THE COURT: Sustained. I believe he said that Officer Church is the one that handled that part. Move on.

Q    You're the evidence custodian, aren't you?

A    No. I'm supervisor of the evidence section.

Q    Do you have anything in your records to indicate that those keys were ever taken out of your custody by Officer Church, so that he could use them for investigative purposes?


A    That would have to be through the evidence control officer.

Q    So is your answer that you don't know?

A    That's correct.

Q    Well, you do have some information from Mr. Church. Do you know by some other means -‑

MR. PANOSH: We object, Your Honor. Mr. Church is going to testify.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. PANOSH: He can address the question of the keys.

THE COURT: Proceed. Move along.

Q    Did Mr. Church tell you -‑

MR. PANOSH: We object to hearsay.

MR. HATFIELD: Object to hearsay?

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    Did Mr. Church tell you that he took those keys and showed them to some relatives, to ascertain if they belonged to Patricia?

MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: Members of the jury --

You may answer, if you know, sir.

A    I'm not sure.

THE COURT: He's answered.

Q    All right. Now, let's go to the door and then let's


finish. Sorry for taking so long.

MR. HATFIELD: Excuse me. May I talk to my counsel before I proceed?

THE COURT: Yes, you may do that.

(Mr. Hatfield and Mr. Lloyd conferred.)

MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, maybe two or three more topics. I promise it'll just take a moment.

THE COURT: All right, sir.

MR. HATFIELD: Are you ready, Madam Reporter? Are you ready?


Q    Mr. Lindell, you examined the back door of the house, which leads from the carport into the kitchen, didn't you?

A    Correct.

Q    And you ascertained what you've already said about the bolt, dead bolt?

A    Correct.

Q    Did you notice that the doorjamb, the frame of the door against which the lock strikes, had damage to it?

A    I do not recall, unless it's in photographs.

Q    You do not recall?

A    No.

Q    Now, did you subject the door to the intense light you were telling about earlier?

A    Correct.


Q    Under that intense light, could you tell whether there was a footprint, where a perpetrator or intruder had kicked that door open?

A    No.

Q    If an individual had kicked that door open, under your intense light scrutiny, you would have seen the footprint, wouldn't you?

A    Not necessarily.

Q    Could you tell whether that door had been forced open on October 9, 1995, from your direct observations?

A    No.

Q    Now, with regard to the gun that you've described that was found, were you personally present when the Glock pistol was found?

A    Yes.

Q    And you examined it and saw that it was covered with film and dirt from the fire?

A    Yes.

Q    You sent it to the SBI lab for ballistics analysis, didn't you?

A    Correct.

Q    But you did not send it for a fingerprint analysis, did you?

A    No.

Q    Why, when you assumed that this was the murder weapon, 


did you not try to get experts in North Carolina, or even the FBI, to ascertain whether there were fingerprints on that gun?

A    We had already done an examination under -- our own examination under light. We left it up to their discretion.

Q    So you examined it when it was covered with dirt from the fire, didn't you?

A    Correct.

Q    And you knew that the gun had a film of dirt over it, didn't you?

A    Correct.

Q    And you made your local analysis for fingerprints and could find none; is that right?

A    Correct.

Q    So that was the end of the matter, as far as you were concerned?

A    No. I said we left it to the discretion of the State Bureau.

Q    Don't you know that in 1998 in this country, that there are amazing methods of determining the location and existence of latent fingerprints?

A    Yes, I do.

Q    And aren't there laboratories that go beyond the capacity that you have over here on Sycamore Street?

A    Yes, I do.


Q    Why did you not try to use science, Twentieth Century science, to find latent prints on that gun?

A    As I said, we went ahead and did an initial examination and left it to the discretion of the state.

MR. HATFIELD: No further questions.

THE COURT: Mr. Panosh, any additional questions?

MR. PANOSH: Yes, please.


Q    In examining those drawers that you've previously talked about, and the cases of the drawers, the cabinets themselves, did you see any indications of tape or any type of hidden compartments that could have contained or held things of value?

A    No, I did not.

Q    In the -- in your experience and training, would you have expected to see some residuals of tape, if there had been something taped or secured to the bottom of those drawers?

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. Would he see tape?

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q Now, when you were asked about the door that is between the garage and the kitchen, was there any indication to you of forced entry, other than what you've already testified to the pry marks?

A    No, there were -- no, there was not.


Q    Was the observations -- were your observations of that door consistent with a door that had been kicked open?

A    It was a full glass door. No.

Q    Now, explain to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury what would have happened to any fingerprints under the dirt, if the dirt was removed from that gun.

A    Because of so much condensation and a fingerprint being made almost entirely of 90 percent water, which also includes fat, amino acids and salts, in order to clean the surface down to get to a fingerprint, you would first see something visible, probably under any intense light, and the ridge detail would -- from the heat and everything, the ridge detail would break down that fingerprint, because of the -- so much substance being of water.

Q    And if you removed the dirt that you observed on the gun, what would have happened to any potential fingerprints?

A    You also will remove the fingerprint.

Q    And I take it you have specialized training in the field of fingerprint analysis?

A    Yes, I have.

Q    And was that with the FBI?

A    Yes. I had four and a half years Department of Justice.

Q    And during those four and a half years at the Department of Justice, you worked in fingerprints; is that



A    Yes, I did.

MR. PANOSH: No further.

MR. HATFIELD: Could I just -‑

THE COURT: In those limited areas, you may question him.


Q    When did you have your four and a half years with the Department of Justice? Can you remember?

A    December 1969, July 1973. Then I was one year with the State Bureau in Raleigh.

Q    So you had your training 25, 30 years ago, didn't you?

A    Yes, I did.

Q    You think there's been any advancements in science in the last 25 years in the area of fingerprint technology?

A    There's not as far as looking at ridge detail, no.

Q    You could have sent that gun, you could have very carefully handled that gun, very carefully packaged it, and sent it to the best crime lab in this land, and let them decide if they could find latent prints under that dirt, couldn't you?

A    I told you, we examined it, using light, sent it to the state, and left it to their discretion.

Q    How many -- well, that's not exactly correct, is it? You sent it to the state --


MR. PANOSH: We object, Your Honor. That's beyond the scope.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    You sent it to the state for ballistics examination, didn't you?

MR. PANOSH: Object.

THE COURT: Sustained. He's answered it, Mr. Hatfield. We've been over it.

Q    You used Sycamore Street science, didn't you?

MR. PANOSH: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. PANOSH: Ask the question and any inference therefrom be stricken.

THE COURT: Disregard that, members of the jury.

Q    You used local practices and procedures at the local Guilford County Sheriff's Department to evaluate whether it was possible to retrieve prints from that gun, and your own knowledge and experience, based on courses you took 25 to 29 years ago, in order to make that decision?

A    No, I did not.

Q    Well, then, what --

MR. PANOSH: We object. He's been over this and over it.

MR. HATFIELD: Well, Your Honor, you know –

THE COURT: One more time.


MR. HATFIELD: -- this is the gun -‑

THE COURT: Go ahead, sir.

MR. HATFIELD: -- that killed the victim.

THE COURT: Sit down.

MR. HATFIELD: Thank you.

THE COURT: Ask your question.

Q    What other information -‑

MR. PANOSH: We've been over –-

Q    What other information did you use?

MR. HATFIELD: Your Honor, with regard -‑

THE COURT: Well, both of you just -‑

MR. HATFIELD: -- to this lawyer -‑

THE COURT: Both of you just pace yourselves and get on with the job that you're here to do.

MR. HATFIELD: All right. I don't have any further questions then -‑

THE COURT: Step down, sir.

MR. HATFIELD: -- on this matter.

THE COURT: Step down, sir.



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

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