FBI Visual Information Program
Adrian use a program to determine if the physical evidence found
at the scene matched up with wounds and the trajectory of the
bullets from a shooter standing in a fixed location.
Adrian determined that a person standing in one place could have
fired all three shots.
Tollardo - File Motion in Limine
Asked Trial Court to excluded images.
State Argued - Images were demonstrative evidence
Used as visual aides to assist the jury in understanding the
Adrians testimony was sufficient to establish the validity of
the program used to generate the images.
The exhibit could be admitted into evidence.
The State would need to lay a proper foundation for the
admission of evidence.
Police Agent Joe Shiel - Testimony
Testified to what he saw when he first arrived at the scene.
Photographs taken and admitted.
Made video of the scene.
Adrian - Reverse Engineering
Reverse engineering of crime scenes involves using known
information, such as the locations of objects at the scene or
the trajectory of a bullet as described in an autopsy report, to
determine unknown information.
Adrian was also recognized as an expert in Computer Assisted
Design (CAD) programs, a program referred to as MAYA, and in
three-dimensional bullet trajectory analysis in computer
Defendant - did not object
Defendant did not object below and does not challenge Adrian's
expertise on appeal.
Voluntary Manslaughter and secondary degree murder.
Defendant Appeals and Argues
1) Evidence is not sufficient to support a conviction.
2) Trial court erred in admitting the exhibit and allowing jury
to see images.
3) Images were NOT demonstrative evidence, but real evidence use
to prove guilt.
State Arg - Images were demonstrative evidence.
The Computer-Generated Exhibit Must Meet the Alberico Standard.
Alberico Standard - Evidence used in court is generally broken
into three broad categories
Real evidence or evidence by inspection.
as "such evidence as is addressed directly to the senses of the
court or jury without the intervention of the testimony of
witnesses, as where various things are exhibited in open court."
Defendant Argues - The images were used as substantive evidence.
State Contends - The images were simply visual aids used to
illustrate Adrians opinion.
The State points out that visual aids are often used to
illustrate the trajectory of a bullet fired into the human body.
Courts have affirmed the use of mannequins and dowel rods as
visual aids to illustrate the trajectory of a bullet.
Animation vs. Simulation
An "animation" is a computer-generated exhibit that is used as a
visual aid to illustrate an opinion that has been developed
without using the computer.
No data is analyzed by the computer.
"simulation" is a computer-generated exhibit created when
information is fed into a computer that is programmed to analyze
the data and draw a conclusion from it.
Data is feed into the computer.
Whether the visual aide fairly and accurately represents the
evidence or some version of the evidence.
Admitted Evidence - Where Computer Simulates (data feed into
Courts require proof of the validity of the scientific
principles and data.
State Assert - Computer generated evidence
Merely to illustrate Adrians opinion.
Should be treated as an animation.
- Computer Evidence Generated by Expert for Illustration
Used to illustrate an expert opinion.
Expert can be cross-examined.
- Computer Evidence Generated by Expert to develop opinion
The opinion is based on the computer generated evidence.
The proponent must be prepared to show scientific validity.
- Consistent with Alberico.
- In this case
Images were not visual aids to illustrate opinion.
Used to develop the opinion to which Adrian testified.
Alberico standard applies to the images.
The Trial Court Did Not Abuse its Discretion in Determining That
the Computer Programs Used Were Valid
Daubert (Old Method)
Opinions based on scientific evidence were admissible only if
the science was generally accepted in the relevant scientific
Alberico rejected that standard in favor of a more flexible
inquiry in which the general acceptance of the theory or
technique was considered but was not controlling.
Alberico - Shift from general acceptance to soundness of method
The focus of the inquiry shifted from general acceptance in a
particular field to "the validity and the soundness of the
scientific method used to generate the evidence.
The courts should examine the relationship between the technique
used to generate the evidence and established scientific
techniques and the availability of specialized literature
addressing the validity of the technique.
Alberico defined validity as "the measure of determining whether
the testimony is grounded in or a function of established
scientific methods or principles, that is, scientific
technique grounded in traditional principles of psychology would
be considered valid.
While a technique grounded in principles of astrology would not.
The Court held that psychological testimony concerning
post-traumatic stress disorder was
grounded in valid scientific principle because it was
grounded in basic behavioral psychology.
"Reliability is akin to relevancy in considering whether the
expert opinion testimony will assist the trier of fact."
The Court held that testimony that the alleged victim suffers
from post-traumatic stress disorder was reliable in this sense
because it had a tendency to show that the victim might have
been sexually abused.
Identifying Scientific Field involved.
- Determination if images use principles of technology or
Defendant Arg - Computer applied the laws of physics to the data
entered into it.
State Arg - Adrian this was not the case
Used three dimensional analysis of bullet trajectories using a
Defendant Arg - Adrian was not competent to establish validity
of the computer program he used to create the images
- We Disagree
Adrian used CAD and MAYA for many years.
CAD is accurate within 1/100,000 of an inch.
He used CAN to cross-check MAYA.
- Trial Court did not abuse its discretion
In determining that the methods used to generate the images were
valid uses of computer technology.
Defendant Arg - Accuracy of images
Adrian was not present at the crime scene or the autopsy but
used information recorded by others in their reports.
- Creators of information were in court room available for
The people who created the information used by Adrian testified
at trial and were subject to cross-examination concerning the
accuracy of their information.
Defendant contends - Adrian interpreted raw data, thus
increasing the margin of error
Adrian interpreted the raw data, thus increasing the margin of
- This contention is not supported by the record.
Adrian testified that the process he used did not involve any
scientific calculations or procedures.
He fed the information into the computer and the computer
created images that could have been created by hand-drafting