Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jane Bock, Forensic Botonist

Forensic Scientist, Expert Witness at Forensic Botany LLC

Jane Bockis testifying to her education and experience. She is a PH.D. She has taught for 30 years. She is an author. She has won many award.  She has done research.She has testified 50 + times including depositions. She has testified in cases in which body was thought to have been moved.

Bock has looked at photographs from Crime Scene. She has visited scene of remains.  She has reviewed the Medical Examiners report. She has read Ms. Welsh(CSI, OCSO) report and the report from Forensic botonist.  January 1st, 2009, she went to visit crime scene with photographer, Patrick PcKenna. It was 7 weeks later. She is being asked to ID a pic she took at crime scene.  She ID's "leaf litter". Leaf Litter is a general term for leaves that fall off vegetation.and falls to ground. She states the remains could only be there for 2 weeks prior to discovery.She testifies it is her opinion due to the leaf litter on the ground. The vegetation found on the Pontiac Sunfire does not match to that at the crime scene. Ashton objects and Sims is instructed to build case.  The car leaf litter was from Camphor trees .There was no camphor tree at site.
Sims>Are botonists able to tell how long a root has been alive by measuring diameter.,
Objection and Sidebar.

Sims calls Dr. Bock >Dr. Hall - he's the state's plant expert.  Bock cannot testify to age and species of plants because the host plant is not available.There are environmental factors that inhibit or enhance growth, soil,water,type of plants, etc.Bock describes root growth rate in the area. Roots were found growing thru Caylee's skull, other remains and bags. 
Bock did her PHD work in Florida. She has done projects in Florida. She did her PHD work in 1960.Her PHD was the comparison of growth site and water types of Hyacinths. She has studied food habits of  tortoises in Florida in 1980-1990. She testifies she reviewed pics and reports. She went to site.Bock says at scene plants could have accumulated there. She says there is a difference between grow and accumulates. Swamp Hardwood is how she would characterize the remains site. The site is generally wet and certain plants grow there. She testfiies  that the leaf litter and vegetation could have grown their in 2 weeks. Ashton asks if Bock saw photographs of roots growing into canvas bag and bones. Bock says yes but she's not a bone expert.    It is her opinon the roots growing into the bones, and through the laundry basked could have occurred in two weeks in December.She has limitied experience with roots growing through bones. She agrees that in the pics, there is leaf litter up to the ears or nose area. Casey looks down as she is shown pic. Brock is being shown pics of skull found at scene with leaf litter. 
REPORTS>  Ashton pulls up photo with Caylee's skull. People in audience let out a small sigh.Cindy and George Anthony both look down as this photo is projected in courtroom.

Bock says some of the vegetation around skull could have come from fallen leaves. Ashton asks if she is familiar with leaf falling patterns in Florda Bock> Yes  Bock says she thinks 2 weeks because the leaf litter in photo was accumulated on ground- scraped bare by Dec 15.
Bock approaches pic Ashton has on easel and asks her to point out leaf litter and is it possible the litter was pushed up around skull. It is her testimony is that the leaf litter is the same on the ground and  around the skull. She did not measure leaf litter.Bock>Did anyone else do that? Ashton> Laughs.You don't get to ask the questions. The court laughs. Ashton is questioning her on growth patterns.Ashton asks why there's more leaves on one side. Bock says because of people trampling around and animals..  She states she cannot state how long the remians of Caylee  had been at site. "No", after Ashton reviews her deposition in which she stated she could not render an opinion. Bock now says it's possible remains were placed there 2 weeks before discovery. It's also possibly there longer. Ashton is confused. Her final testimony is that the remains could have been there 2 weeks or more.
Redirect Defense.> She is testifiying to her experience with Florida vegetation. If there is a hole in a bone , depending on the type of root, it could grown through bone.The fact that there is no leaf litter on log prompted her to question if the log had been moved. Brock states per reports of Jennifer Welsh, the log was heavy because it took 2 people to move it. Brock is drawing on a board a log with layers of vegetation.  First layer is humous. On top of humous is  ( no sound) ,  Bock is explaining/drawing cross section oi leaves , soil, rocks beneath. Bock states item could sink when discovered with all the layers of vegetaion on top.
Ashton on redirect. Bock can not testify that the skull or not. Ashton asks her if she knew that the hip bone was buried in 4 inches in "muck."  meaning that it was buried. Brock> It could be or a dog buried it. Ashton> A dog . Brock >or a coyote. I don't know. It could have been pushed. Ashton, No more questions. 
Recess 30 minutes for jury, Ten minutes for attorneys. JP> We have matters to take up.

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