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Court Determines Admissibility of Evidence


The People of the State of New York are the plaintiffs in this case. The defendant of the case is Eddie Thompson Jr. The case is being heard in the Ulster County Court. Judge Richard E. Sise is hearing the case.

Case Background

The defendant, Eddie Thompson Jr. has been indicted on a murder in the second degree charge. This charge comes from an incident that occurred on the 28th of October, 2008. On this date, Frances Johnson, was shot. She is described as being the paramour of the defendant.

A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the defendant has testified that the shooting was an accident. He states the victim had asked him for help unloading her firearm and that when he attempted to unload the gun he accidently shot her. The autopsy report for the victim shows that she was shot twice at a close range.

The counsel for the defense states that the main issue at trial will involve disputed scientific findings and facts that connect with trajectory, ballistics, and proximity in regard to the discharge of the gun that caused the death of the victim.

The motion before the court is made by the defendant. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the defendant is requesting a copy of the transcript from the testimony given to the grand jury by the ballistics expert of the prosecution.

Case Discussion

On the 23rd of December in 2008, County Court Judge Bruhn issued an order to the People of the state of New York to disclose any reports or documents that concerned a mental or physical examination, a scientific experiment or test that was made in relation to the criminal case. A Nassau County Drug Possession Lawyer said this includes any evidence that was requested by the People in regard to this matter. The order states that all of these documents shall be disclosed in the case.

The description of the order requires the prosecution to disclose the property by making it available for inspection, copying, photographing, or testing.

The People provided the defendant with photographs of the expert testimony. The defendant states that the photographs that have been provided show that the District Attorney conducted several demonstrations before the Grand Jury during testimony given by the expert witness.

The People also provided eight pages of documentation that show stippling hits from a gun at varying distances. The defendant accepts that there are no scientific reports that have not been disclosed, but now moves for an order releasing the testimony of the prosecution’s ballistic expert instead of a written report.

The People oppose this motion stating that their witness based his opinion on the stippling patter that was found on the victim and comparing it to the stippling pattern from firing the murder weapon from various points. A Queens Drug Possession Lawyer said the defendant has been given the right to view the photographs, autopsy report, and the murder weapon.

Court Decision

After reviewing the arguments from both the plaintiff and the defendant, the court finds in favor of the plaintiff. It is not found that there would be any benefit to the defendant from this information being disclosed. In addition, by not disclosing this information there is no prejudice towards the defendant. For these reasons, the motion made by the defendant is denied.

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