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Product News

Leica 3-D Laser-Scan Data Provides Forensic Evidence At Murder Trial

September 16, 2009  | 


A jury trial stemming from the homicide of a 21-year-old Georgia woman is the latest to include 3-D laser-scan data from a Leica Geosystems device, according to the company.

The device was used to recreate a 3-D image of the crime scene for use by District Attorney Joe Mulholland of the South Georgia Judicial Circuit. The data was admitted into evidence, when Mulholland offered a Leica TruView visual model.

During the murder trial of Antonio Jerome Greenlee in Decatur County Superior Court, crime scene investigator Andy Forte, of the Thomas County Sheriff's Department, provided testimony using Leica TruView to virtually place the jury at the crime scene and to show them how the homicide could have occurred.

Greenlee was accused of killing 21-year-old Ebony Clarke of Bainbridge, Ga., in August of 2008. Clarke was shot and killed during a street altercation between two men. On Aug. 13, the jury found Greenlee not guilty of one of three charges and could not agree on the others, resulting in a mistrial.

Leica TruView is a Web-enabled panoramic point cloud viewer that allows users to view, pan, zoom, measure and mark up the point cloud captured by the Leica ScanStation 3-D laser scanner.

The Leica ScanStation allows investigators to photograph, then make millions of measurements of a crime scene in just a few minutes, thus "freezing the scene in time." A Leica TruView data set can be generated within minutes of scanning for briefings, analysis or as a jury exhibit.

"The jury really, really liked it and we had jurors comment afterwards about how effective it was," said Mulholland. "We not only used the TruView to support Andy's testimony, but the judge then allowed Andy to show it again during my direct examination of other witnesses as I asked them questions about where they were standing or where the shooter was. TruView is basically a high-tech picture. It is not testimony. It is offered as an exhibit and demonstrative evidence. This seemed to play well with the judge. The Defense did not object and I think that they thought the same thing."

After the trial, the judge called Mulholland to the bench to comment on the effectiveness of the Leica TruView and encourage him to use it again, according to the company.

"The Leica ScanStation has been the choice of police and sheriff's departments, state patrols, crime laboratories, prosecutor's offices, coroner and medical examiners and tribal justice agencies," said Tony Grissim, the public safety and forensic account manager for Leica Geosystems. "The high volume of traffic we are seeing on our website is an indicator to us that word is getting around within the law enforcement community."

Tags: 3-D Scanners, Leica Geosystems, Forensic Evidence

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