DIRECT EXAMINATION OF RALPH TURBYFILL BY MR. FOGLEMAN
I'm the chief latent fingerprints examiner for the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock. I examined a number of items in this case. State's Exhibit 7 is an envelope bearing the lab case number and the exhibit numbers, two pieces of plastic painted green, formerly one piece of plastic which was a bike reflector and a small toy sheriff's star that says "Mike" on it. I examined those items and other items for
latent fingerprints. (TR 2289) The items that I examined contained no latent fingerprints of value for identification and in most cases there were no latent fingerprints detected at all. (The envelope and contents were introduced into evidence as State's Exhibit 7. Latent fingerprints is a composite of the chemistry that comes through the sweat pores on the hand which is 98% water, 2% fat, salt and other body chemistry. So latent fingerprints which are invisible are 98% water and if you put that 98% water in water, it dilutes it where it is not detectable. State's Exhibit 77 is a knife that was submitted by the police department which bears my case number and initials. I examined that item. No latent fingerprint impressions at all. If it had been submersed in water, I would not have expected to find fingerprints. (TR 2290) State's Exhibit 53 also has my initials on it, the case number and it is a stick. I processed this for latent fingerprints and again there were no latent fingerprints at all. On all these items I performed more than one test in an attempt to detect latent impressions. I did a visual examination and then to expose them to Super Glue to develop any invisible latents and chemical processing after which laser was used to detect prints. No latent prints were detected. I also performed a test related to amino acids which is a chemical test on wood, unpainted wood, cardboard items. That's an amino acid indicator. We exposed the stick to the chemical, and again no prints were developed. I had a
pink reaction as far as amino acids. What you see on the wood is the reaction, which can be caused from amino acid from whatever source, which could be the chemicals in the water. If there is any amino acid there, it will show up pink. (TR 2291) 1 had a chemical reaction to amino acid. It was a color reaction but no defined friction skin ridges. The body has amino acids in it, and one of the chemicals we use reacts or colors that particular amino acid. This pink reaction is the result of the coloring of that amino acid, which fingerprints has got amino acid in them, paper, unpainted wood and cardboard. We can detect fingerprints using that chemical. Just because there's a reaction doesn't mean it was handled or a fingerprint. It could mean it was handled or it could be from something in the water.
CROSS EXAMINATION OF RALPH TURBYFILL BY MR. DAVIDSON
I did not find any fingerprints that matched the fingerprints of Echols or anyone. (TR 2292) With the amino acid test that I ran, I could not determine what human being that may have come from, just that that stick may have had some contact with some human being.
(A BENCH CONFERENCE OUT OF THE HEARING OF THE JURY)
MR. DAVIDSON: Have you made any decisions on the situation with the fiber that was in the knife?
THE COURT: I don't know what to do on that. I don't know whether it calls for me to make any kind of decision.
MR. DAVIDSON: I guess we just put Ridge back on.
THE COURT: I don't know what to tell you to do.
MR. WADLEY: I thought there was testimony that it was identified a couple days ago and now it is not there.
THE COURT: How did it get there?
MR. FOGLEMAN: I don't remember if Doctor Peretti testified that it was there when he examined it or whether he said it was there now.
MR. WADLEY: He examined it, he saw it, and he noted it on the witness stand. (TR 2293)
MR. FOGLEMAN: I agree with that. The point I was making is whether or not he was saying that he saw it when he first examined it. I don't know when the fiber got there.
MR. DAVIDSON: Val asked him about that, and he said yes, and he sent it to --
MR. FOGLEMAN: -- that's what he said but he didn't.
THE COURT: I don't know what to tell you on it. I'm not making any comment one way or the other about it.