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Joseph D. Reavis, Witness for the State


THE COURT: The State call its next witness, please.

MR. PANOSH: Yes. Special Agent Ford, please. I'm sorry. Special Agent Reavis.

JOSEPH D. REAVIS, being first duly sworn, testified as follows during DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:

Text Box:  
Q    Agent, could you please state your name.

A    Joseph D. Reavis.

Q    And your occupation?

A    I'm employed by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation as a forensic chemist.


Q    In addition to the training you had to be a special agent, what, if any, specialized training did you have in reference to being a forensic chemist?

A    After completing the special agent academy and basic law enforcement requirements by the SBI, I attended numerous training programs put on by the agents of the SBI in the field of forensic chemistry. I have been qualified in and have been tested in the areas of forensic hair examination and comparison, forensic arson debris analysis, and forensic controlled substance analysis.

In addition to those training programs, I've attended training put on by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at its training facility in Quantico, Virginia, by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Atlanta, Georgia, by the Southern Association of Forensic Scientists, and by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Q Have you been recognized as an expert in the field of forensic chemistry, specifically in the identification and comparison of human hairs?

A    Yes.

Q    How many times have you been recognized as an expert?

A    Approximately 50 times.

MR. PANOSH: We'd tender him to the Court as an expert in forensic chemistry, specifically in reference to the identification of human hairs.


THE COURT: Do you wish to examine him as to his credentials?

MR. HATFIELD: No, Your Honor.

MR. LLOYD: We have no objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: The Court finds this SBI Agent J.D. Reavis to be an expert in the field of forensic chemistry and hair -- human hair identification --

Q    In the course of your --

THE COURT: -- and may express an opinion in that area.

MR. PANOSH: Sorry, Your Honor.

Q    In the course of your duties, did there come a time when certain samples were submitted to you by the Guilford County Sheriff's Department in reference to the death of Patricia Gail Kimble?

A    Yes.

Q    And when did you receive those samples?

A    As I recall, samples were submitted -- hairs from a weapon were submitted on October 12, 1995. There were additional submissions later, on November 21, 1995, of head hairs and pubic hairs, both coming from Patricia Kimble.

Q    Were those hairs removed at autopsy?

A    Yes, they were.

MR. PANOSH: May I approach the witness?

THE COURT: You may.


Q    I show you what's been previously marked as State's Exhibits 86-A and 86-B. Is 86-A the known -- the questioned hair sample that was submitted to you?

A    Yes.

Q    And is 86-B the questioned -- the known head and pubic hairs of Patricia Kimble?

A    Yes.

Q    Can you open 86-A and tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury exactly what was submitted to you.

(The witness complied.)

A    State's Exhibit 86-A --

THE COURT: Wait just a minute.

(The Court conferred with the bailiff.)

THE COURT: You may continue.

A    State's Exhibit 86-A contains a small evidence box that the hair was originally submitted to the laboratory in. mounted it on a microscope slide to study it, and placed it in this slide mailer, and it remains with the evidence.

Q    How many hairs did you mount?

A    Just one.

Q    How many were submitted to you?

A    Just one.

Q    And in the course of your comparison to the known head and pubic hair samples of Patricia Kimble, how did you perform your analysis?


A    Hairs are compared in the laboratory using a comparison microscope. It's a light microscope that allows two different samples to be viewed at the same time. There's a light bridge across the top. It's a very complex optic arrangement, that allows us to view head hairs or pubic hairs, any known type of hair, with a questioned sample, side by side, under the same lighting conditions, under the same magnification. You get a view inside the microscope of actually two fields of view. You get the questioned on one side, you get the known on the other side.

Q    And after making that comparison, what, if any, findings did you make?

A    I found that the hair in State's Exhibit 86-A removed from the weapon was completely microscopically consistent with the hairs of Patricia Kimble.

Q And would you explain to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury what "microscopically consistent" means, in your specific field.

A    Microscopically consistent means that in each area that I viewed, in each area of magnification, in each depth of field, every part of the hair is microscopically, or to my eye, consistent with the hairs of the victim. That does not preclude that someone else may have hair characteristics that are consistent with the victim. In my training and experience, I've only seen that one time. That is the basis


for the science that we do.

MR. PANOSH: May I approach the witness?

THE COURT: You may.

Q    Now, agent, based upon your training and experience, and assuming that the hair was collected at approximately in the area where the G is located, in the master bedroom of Patricia Kimble's home, and assuming that the hair was located on or near the weapon, what, if any, conclusions can you draw? (Indicated on the diagram.)

A    I don't think I can draw any conclusions. I wouldn't find it strange to find the victim's own hair in the victim's own residence.

MR. PANOSH: Thank you. No further questions.

MR. LLOYD: Just a couple, Your Honor.


Q    Agent Reavis, did you remove the hair from the weapon yourself?

A    No.

Q    All right. So you did not have contact with the weapon?

A    No.

MR. LLOYD: That's all I have, Your Honor.

THE COURT: You can step down, sir.

(The witness left the witness stand.)



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

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