Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Return Of The Do-Rag

2:15pm. Investigator Michael Simmons of the Oneida Co. Sheriff's Department is once again called to testify. He is the first witness to make more than one appearance on the stand.

-We are seeing several pieces of evidence already identified throughout the trial including jewelry and credit cards found on the defendant the night of the robbery/homicide.

-2:24pm. On cross-examination, Wittman produces a receipt that indicated two do-rags were received during a March 2006 evidence transfer between the Sheriff's Department and New Hartford Police.

Wittman: "Did you make any effort to photograph the second do-rag?"
Simmons: "There was no second do-rag."
Wittman: "When did you realize?"
Simmons: "Not until very recently."

As testimony has shown already, what was originally identified as a second do-rag was actually a glove.

Simmons is off the stand at 2:38pm.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe how sloppy they
New Hartford)could be processing evidence.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant beleive that anyone could even comment on this in a negative way. you had multiple agencies working on this that night. They all have different procedures and paperwork, I wouldnt call it sloppy. The defense has ntohing else to speak of other then this glove. AS you see to the prior testimonies she hasnt crossed examined to many of the witnesses,.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree, she is grappling with any thread of hope for defense. he is so clearly guilty.

all of these officers and investigators did a remarkable job under extreme conditions.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree they did a great job..ouch for the prosecution though. But i am optimistic in the grand sceem of things...tiny blemish

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont understand how some people can negatively comment on the law enforcement officers and investigators. They all did an outstanding job on this case as well as every other day. This includes all agencies involved. Lets give the Local LEO some praise and thanks for once. After all they serve and protect us 24 hours a day! They are putting there lives on the line for us!

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well- they have already established the defendent was present that night. This is a small setback. Based on the rest of the evidence, the jury has to know he is guilty without a question of doubt. How could anyone doubt this guy's involvement? I agree with the previous poster- the officers were under a great deal of stress and circumstances that we don't normally deal with in this area. A colleague of theirs had been killed-

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it really important if it was a do-rag or a glove?

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The defense is just reaching for anything...... doo rag glove whatever..... He had rolex's and diamonds on him and he was with the man who shot officer Corr.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe not from our perspective. But whitman is trying to show incompetence on the police. I was not degrading anyone with the initial post, just making an observation. These defense attorneys grab on to a mistake like that and twist it to show that a careless investigation was conducted.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitman is trying to make the police look bad as she always does.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The New York Times

July 30, 1993

Section B; Page 5

Police Investigation Supervisor Admits Faking Fingerprints


In a widening scandal that has rocked the New York State Police, a lieutenant who supervised criminal investigations in seven upstate counties admitted yesterday that he had faked fingerprint evidence in three cases.

The lieutenant, Craig D. Harvey, also said in court in Delhi, N.Y., that he had been assisted in fabricating evidence by another lieutenant, Patrick O'Hara, who works out of state police headquarters in Albany supervising drug and organized-crime investigations.

Mr. who pleaded guilty yesterday in one case, was immediately dismissed from the force, and Lieutenant O'Hara, who has not been charged, was suspended without pay for 30 days pending an inquiry. Two other troopers had previously pleaded guilty in the scandal.

Taken together, yesterday's events painted a picture of almost routine fabrication of evidence in criminal cases in the identification unit of Troop C, based in Sidney, 65 miles southwest of Syracuse, beginning at least as far back as 1984. In general, officials said, investigators would use fabricated fingerprint evidence to build cases against people who had already been identified as suspects.

Another Arrest Expected

The scandal has already undermined several criminal convictions, and in one case, led to the dismissal of charges of being accessory to murder against a woman who prosecutors now say had been jailed for a crime she did not commit.

Nelson E. Roth, the special prosecutor appointed by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo to investigate the Troop C scandal, said yesterday that he expected "at least one additional arrest," apparently alluding to Lieutenant O'Hara.

"The whole affair is incredibly disheartening and unfortunately creates some unwarranted public scrutiny of the entire state police," added Mr. Roth, who said he believed that the scandal was limited to Troop C.

Just last month, Thomas A. Constantine, the superintendent of the state police, predicted that there would be no additional arrests. He was in New Jersey yesterday and not available for comment, said James V. Atkins, his spokesman.

In March, Mr. Constantine issued a sweeping series of changes in the rules governing evidence handling to prevent a repeat of the scandal.

Whole Identification Unit

Two other investigators from Troop C have admitted faking fingerprint evidence against suspects in various crimes. But Lieutenant Harvey was the highest-ranking officer to admit wrongdoing in the scandal, which now encompasses all five investigators who worked in Troop C's criminal identification unit between 1982 and 1992.

"What you have here is a very serious problem within a particular troop," said Richard Girgenti, the state's criminal justice director. "We're satisfied a complete review has been and is taking place."

But Mr. Girgenti said there was no way to know when the state police would have learned of the scandal if a former investigator, David L. Harding, had not bragged to a C.I.A. official during a job interview that he had faked fingerprint evidence to help win criminal convictions.

In the first of two court appearances yesterday, Lieutenant Harvey pleaded guilty in Delhi, in Delaware County, to faking fingerprints in a 1986 double murder, and admitted faking fingerprints in two burglaries dating from 1984. He agreed in a plea bargain to serve 2 1/2 to 7 1/2 years in prison.

Implicated by Friend

He also implicated Lieutenant O'Hara, a close friend. Both men are 17-year veterans of the force and joined Troop C in 1982. When they were promioted to lieutenant in 1989, Lieutenant Harvey was made a supervisor of criminal investigations in Troop C, and Lieutenant O'Hara was assigned to Albany.

In a separate proceeding yesterday afternoon in Tioga County Court in Owego, Investigator David M. Beers, who pleaded not guilty in May to evidence-tampering charges, pleaded not guilty to new charges that he faked a fingerprint on a machine gun during a 1991 narcotics investigation.

As second in command of Troop C's bureau of criminal investigation, Lieutenant Harvey directly supervised 40 investigators, including Mr. Beers, Mr. Harding and Robert M. Lishansky. Mr. Harding and Mr. Lishansky have pleaded guilty to evidence tampering in two dozen criminal cases and are serving prison terms.

The 4,000-member state police force handles most serious crimes in rural upstate New York, giving critical forensic and laboratory aid to local police and sheriff's departments.

Problem With Confession

The department plays a much less visible role in New York City and on Long Island, but it recently drew attention with the June arrest of Joel Rifkin, an unemployed landscaper who the authorities say has admitted killing 17 women. He was picked up after troopers discovered a body in the back of his pickup truck during a routine traffic stop.

Even in that case, though, the state police has drawn criticism for failing to make either video or audio recordings of Mr. Rifkin's confessions or to have him sign a written confession.

The state police learned from Federal officials last summer that Mr. Harding had bragged in a 1991 job interview with the C.I.A. about faking fingerprints. Mr. Harding pleaded guilty last December to fabricating fingerprint evidence in four cases, and his partner, Mr. Lishansky, pleaded guilty in April to evidence tampering in 21 cases.

Also in April, Mr. Harvey became the third trooper charged in the scandal when prosecutors accused him of lying when he claimed to have discovered a murder suspect's fingerprint at a crime scene. In court yesterday, Lieutenant Harvey said he and Lieutenant O'Hara lifted the suspect's fingerprint from equipment in Troop C headquarters after the suspect was booked, and later claimed they had found the fingerprint at the scene of an execution-style double murder.

The suspect, John Spencer, was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison, but has asked the judge to void his conviction because the faked fingerprint was part of the case against him.

"The terrible thing is that the fingerprint wasn't crucial to the case," said Malcolm C. Hughes, the former Delaware County District Attorney who prosecuted the double murder.

Troopers Under a Cloud

All five investigators in the identification unit of Troop C in Sidney, N.Y., from 1982 to 1992 have been implicated in an evidence-tampering scandal.

DAVID L. HARDING A former investigator and 7-year veteran of the force, was sentenced Dec. 16, 1992, to 4 to 12 years in prison and fined $20,000 for fabricating evidence in four cases.

ROBERT M. LISHANSKY A former investigator and 11-year veteran, was sentenced June 10 to 6 to 18 years in prison for faking evidence in 21 cases.

CRAIG D. HARVEY A lieutenant who once headed the identification unit and was a 16-year veteran, admitted on July 29 that he had fabricated evidence in three cases, and agreed to serve 2 1/2 to 7 years in prison.

DAVID M. BEERS An investigator and 15-year veteran, pleaded not guilty on May 5 and on July 29 to fabricating evidence in two cases.
PATRICK O'HARA A lieutenant and 16-year veteran, was suspended July 29 pending an investigation into Mr. Harvey's allegations that Lieutenant O'Hara helped fake evidence.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article is 13 & 1/2 years old!

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody did a great job on this case - remember, they got all of the bad guys and avenged Joe Corr's death - A remarkable and competent investigation

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beware - Are you really anonymous?

Anyone with marginal computer skills can follow your log-in

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most likely if they can trace a cell phone from what tower it is transmitting from then they can trace you to who you really are.

Its not like we don't have opinions on whats going on at this trial.

I see wittman as trying to make the Police look like they didn't do their jobs right.

With Healy he thinks he's "slick", taking notes and talking with Wittman. I wonder when she will play the race card.

Nice job Andy!

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Things are not always handled perfectly, even in the field of criminal investigation. Still, the evidence is overwhelming. It's in the bag. Innocent until proven guilty? It's not looking good at all for Healy. No other attorneys would take the case, thus Healy ended up with the bottom of the pot.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone positively id Healy as being in the jewelry store on the night of the robbery? Is the only evidence from the glove which disappeared for a couple of days?

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

defense is confused and trying to make everyone else as fuzzy as she it!!! Not going to work !!!! If I were her I'd say little and hope for the better than what she's dished our fine Law Enforcement Officers that have done a superior job on this case. Justice will prevail and she'll lose this one

11:15 PM  
Anonymous roger said...

Copy & Paste into the url location.of your windows media player to listen to oneida county sheriffs live on your computer

roger e.tennessee

12:46 AM  

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