Prosecution discredits expert witness’ testimony during 1991 homicide trial

An expert witness for the defense was discredited Feb. 7 during a 1991 triple homicide trial.

Ross Gardner, a crime scene analyst who created a report on the shootings, told the jury how he used trigonometry to determine where the shooter was in relation to the victims. He said, based on the wounds, it was impossible for the shooter to be behind the victims when they were shot.

However, the prosecution revealed errors in Gardner’s report.

Assistant United States Attorney Laura Bach said Gardner attributed some wounds with the wrong caliber and mislabeled two wounds found on Curtis Pixley‘s body.

“There were many mistakes, [Bach] didn’t even get to all of them,” Gardner said. “I was required to put together this report in three days.”

On Feb. 6, officer James Fields testified about a bag of crack cocaine that was found in Samantha Gillard‘s jacket pocket. Even though the same jacket had previously been processed and inspected by three other investigators, Fields said the drugs were found in 1992 by an unidentified FBI investigator.

Benito Valdez is charged with first-degree murder while armed for fatally shooting Pixley, 29; Gillard, 23; and Keith Simmons, 24. The trial is expected to continue on Feb. 7.


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