(tape flipped)

Price: - Rests, your Honor.

The Court: Alright, you ready to proceed?

Ford: Yes sir, your Honor.

The Court: Alright, call your first witness.

Ford: Call Charles Linch.

The Court: Alright, raise your right hand please, sir, do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth in the matter now pending before the court so help you God?

Linch: I do.

The Court: Come right around - right around the court reporter and up the back stairs.



Ford: You ready, your Honor?

The Court: Yes.

Ford: State your name for the record please.

Linch: My name is Charles Linch, L-i-n-c-h.

Ford: And uh - Mr. Linch, where do you reside?

Linch: I reside in Dallas, Texas.

Ford: And how are you employed?

Linch: Currently employed as a trace evidence analyst at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas.

Ford: And how long have you been employed there?

Linch: Been at the institute off and on for the last 15 years and I've been working in trace evidence for the last 7 years.

Ford: Uh - tell the jury, uh - what education in specialized training that you have that enables you to do the work that you do.

Linch: I have a bachelor's in science at the University of Houston, I've attended the FBI hair and fiber school, the FBI forensic serology school, and the FBI DNA analysis school. I've worked at the Southwestern Medical School as a research electron microscopist and I served a one year apprenticeship in hairs and fibers at the Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas.

Ford: Tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury what you do on a daily basis in your employment in Dallas.

Linch: 80 to 90% of my uh - work is the identification and comparison of hairs and fibers in criminal and civil matters.

Ford: Have you ever testified on behalf of the state of Texas or any other governmental agency in a criminal case?

Linch: Yes sir.

Ford: How many times?

Linch: Numerous times, between 200 to 300 times.

Ford: And have you, those times that you have testified, have you been recognized as an expert in the field of trace evidence and fiber comparison?

Linch: Yes sir, I have.

Ford: Have you ever testified on behalf of a defendant in a criminal case?

Linch: Yes sir, I have.

Ford: How many times?

Linch: This'll be the third time.

Ford: And in those two prior cases, were you recognized as an expert in the field of trace evidence and fiber comparison?

Linch: Yes sir, I was.

Ford: Have you ever worked in conjunction with the FBI?

Linch: Yes sir, I have.

Ford: On how many occassions?

Linch: Four cases come to mind.

Ford: How many fiber comparisons have you conducted in criminal cases?

Linch: Individual fiber comparisons through the microscope would be, uh - many hundreds, perhaps thousands. Uh - you don't count those things.

Ford: Your Honor, at this time, we would submit him as an expert in the field of trace evidence and forensic fiber comparisons.

Fogleman: No objection.

The Court: Alright, you may proceed.

Ford: Mr. Linch, in this case, did you have an opportunity to compare a red fiber, which was found on a, uh - on a shirt with red fibers that came from a red robe?

Linch: Yes sir, I did.

(pause - fumbling noise)

Ford: Mr. Linch, would you look at - look at that sack, which is state's exhibit number 88 and tell me if you recognize that robe.

Linch: State's uh - 88 is the robe that I examined on uh - February the 19th, 1994.

Ford: And where did you conduct that examination?

Linch: That was at the, uh - forensic sciences building in Dallas.

Ford: Ok. If you would, uh - would you look at that other sack that sort of has not survived the wear and tear too much, and it - are your initials and your evidence tape on that sack?

Linch: Yes sir, they are.

Ford: Is that the sack which you - which contained the robe when you examined it?

Linch: Yes sir, it was.

Ford: In making your comparison - I'm going to show you what has been marked as defendant's exhibit number 1 and defendant's exhibit number 2. That being defendant Baldwin's 1 and defendant Baldwin's 2. And ask you if you recognize those slides.

Linch: Defendant's 1 and defendant's 2 are the glass microscope slides that I examined.

Ford: Were those slides provided to you or did you make them yourself?

Linch: They were provided to me.

Ford: Ok. And the testimony that you will give regarding your fiber comparison, are they based on your observation of these two slides?

Linch: My observation of those two slides and some additional slides that I made up.

Ford: Ok. If you would - if you could, step down from the witness stand and explain - show to the jury, the question fiber, which is located in defendant's exhibit number 1.

Linch: The single fiber fragment on defendant's number 1 is located about the top, center of the bevel it exists in the surface region.

Ford: Is that the entire fragment which you examined?

Linch: Yes sir, it is.

Ford: Ok. Thank you. Mr. Linch, when conducting a fiber comparison, what are the two most important factors that you are looking for?

Linch: The two most importnat, uh - criteria that a fiber examiner uses are color and fiber shape. What is the actual shape of the fiber.

Ford: Ok. Explain the various differences that you can find in color from one fiber to another.

Linch: Well, there are over 7,000 dyes currently being used in the United States to make up the different colors. From colorless to, uh - black fibers, and all colors in between. And the human eye is not able to discern 7,000 different colors but we have instrumentation that aids us in uh - making that determination.

Ford: Ok. What are the various differences you can see in man made fibers?

Linch: Man made fibers have, uh - distinctive cross sectional shapes, that is, when the fibers are produced the molten polymers push through an extruder. This extruder will give the fiber it's cross sectinal shape. Carpet fibers are usually trilobal, that is, it looks like three dumbells together. Uh - fibers may be multilobe, fibers may be perfectly circular, they may be oviod, they may be star shaped. There are many possible cross sectional shapes that you might find in a man made fiber.

Ford: In your opinion Mr. Linch, did the fiber - the question fiber, is Baldwin's exhibit number 1, did it originate from that woman's red bathrobe?

Linch: I found sufficient microscopic differences and the fiber from the black and white plaid shirt to exclude the red robe as being a possible source of the fiber.

Ford: Tell the jury what differences you observed which leads you to the conclusion that those are from - that those fibers are dissimilar.

Linch: Initially I placed the two slides on the comparison microscope, the comparison microscope is two microscopes that are connected by a bridge and the examiner is able to look at both fibers at the same time. Initially under the uh - comparison scope, I saw differences in color, differences in shape and differences in uh - primary thing was shape and color were different and at that level, uh - it was my opinion that these fibers were different. From different sources.

Ford: In the exercise of caution, did you go beyond the initial determination of color and shape?

Linch: Yes sir, I did.

Ford: Alright. And tell the jury what other things - what you did in order to conclude that these fibers are dissimilar.

Linch: After the, uh - using the comparison light microscope, I then looked at the fibers with polarized light microscopy. I then used a flourescence microscope to look at the, uh - properties of the fibers. And I also used a microspectrophotometer to get a instrumental reading of what color combinations were present in the fiber from the shirt and the fibers from the robe.

Ford: Ok. Does the - does the um - what was that last one, that long -

Linch: Photometer for short.

Ford: Ok. Does that test generate a graph?

Linch: Yes sir, it does.

Ford: Ok. And did you generate graphs from, uh - these two fibers from those two slides?

Linch: Yes sir, I did.

Ford: Do you have those with you today?

Linch: Yes sir.

Ford: Would you step down to the jury and explain to them what your findings were when you compared those two colors.

Linch: Is there a place to draw? That may be easier.

Ford: Yeah, you can use the easal if you'd like.


Linch: Colors correspond to a specific wavelength of light measured in manimeters. So, the microspectrophotometer runs through a series of specific wavelengths of light and measures how much absorbance that color - that fiber has for a particular color. The color we see from a fiber is the color that is reflected and all other colors are absorbed. The fibers from the red robe had a spectrum, which roughly looked like this. That is, with a smooth, pink at the top, almost perfectly smooth. I then ran the fibers - the single fiber from the black and white plaid shirt and it's characteristic, dye, fingerprint, or color had a peak, it had a flattened region in it, and the slopes intersected with the spectrum of the known robe. This - this indicates that the dyes used in the robe and the dyes used in the single fiber had different color combinations. If you took a red fiber and flattened it until it looked pink, but they were from the same source, the red fiber maybe looked like this and you've flattened it to pinkness it may look like this, but that is still a match because you do not have intersection of the graphs, and the peaks are the same and uh - conformity at the apex. So from this spectrum data, it supported my initial light microscopic observation of the fibers that indeed were of different color.

Ford: In your opinion, did the question fiber come from that red bathrobe?

Linch: No sir, it did not.

Ford: I don't know if he can see or not and I want to -


Ford: One last question Mr. Linch, is it possible for that fiber fragment to have been placed on the shirt after it was recovered from the water?

Linch: That's possible.

Ford: Pass the witness.

Davis: Hi Mr. Linch, my name is Brent Davis and I've got a few questions for you. Now as I understand it, when you first saw the question fiber - which is the fiber found at the scene, at that point in time did you know that Lisa Sakevicius with the Arkansas Crime Lab had flattened that fiber?

Linch: At that time, no sir. I could tell microscopically that one end of it had been flattened, yes sir.

Davis: Ok. And did you know she indicated she's the one who flattened it?

Linch: I had heard that, yes sir.

Davis: Ok, you heard that after you made your observations, correct?

Linch: That's right.

Davis: And after you indicated that you couldn't flatten one of those fibers, correct?

Linch: I've done additional tests since then.

Davis: Ok. But - but initially when you did your examination and you talked to Mr. Fogleman and told him the results, you said, "The most important factor was the difference in shape between the two fibers." Correct?

Linch: That's right.

Davis: Ok. And at that time, it was your understanding that - that you couldn't flatten one of these fibers yourself, correct?

Linch: I couldn't flatten it with, uh - tweezers or by rubbing two microscope slides together or with a hammer, but I was able to later flatten it by other methods.

Davis: Ok. Well, she examined the fibers - the question fiber and compared it with a known fiber in it's original state before it was flattened, correct?

Linch: That's my understanding, yes sir.

Davis: Ok. And she was able to do comparisons with it like that and you didn't have that opportunity, correct?

Linch: I did not, that's correct.

Davis: Ok. And then for, I believe, the infared testing she flattened the fiber before she did certain infared testing on it, right?

Linch: Yes sir.

Davis: And that's an accepted practice in the field, correct?

Linch: That's right, it's usually a good idea to photograph it before you, uh - damage it, but that is an accepted practice.

Davis: Ok. And the microspectrophotometry, I think I said that right, that test was - she did her test before it was flattened, correct?

Linch: I don't know.

Davis: Ok. Well if she indicated on state's exhibit number 93, which is the graph, that she conducted that test before flattening of the fiber, you wouldn't dispute that, correct?

Linch: Uh - state's exhibit 93 is, uh - spectrogram of visible spectrophotometry, but uh - this data does not indicate a match. In my opinion.

Davis: Ok. Was that the question I asked you, Mr. Linch?

Linch: No sir, what was the question? This is the first time I've seen this.

Davis: Ok. Uh - the question I asked you is, was this microspectrophotometry done before the fiber was flattened?

Linch: It is written in pen, uh - 'microspectrophotometry before flattening' on state's 93.

Davis: Ok. And these graphs both show the same apex, correct? The same shape at the apex of the graph.

Linch: They show an intersection at the apex.

Davis: Ok. And they show - have you examined that closely? That's the first time you've seen that?

Linch: Yes sir, it is.

Davis: Ok. I believe you indicated on your little drawing that you did for the jury that there would be - you would expect - with different fibers, you would have different shapes at the apex. One might be flat while the other would be curved. Did I understand that correctly?

Linch: That's right.

Davis: Ok. And the shape at the apex on these are consistant, correct?

Linch: They are mostly consistant, but there is an inconsistancy.

Davis: Ok. And do you have the results of the graphs of your test?

Linch: Yes sir, I do.

Davis: Ok. May I see those please, sir?


Davis: Did you also do an infared test?

Linch: No sir, I did not.

Davis: Ok. And is that not a test that you would normally perform in order to make a comparison?

Linch: As a final step in doing a fiber comparison, I would do, uh - FTIR and I would also do gastrometography mass spectrometry, but in this instance since the fibers in my opinion could be excluded at the first step, then that wasn't necessary.

Davis: Ok. You see any - as far as the infared testing that was done, what is the purpose of that testing?

Linch: Infared testing is done to determine precisely which type of polymer you're dealing with, but with the polarized light microscope you can determine if it's a nylon or polyester or rayon or so on. Though with the IR, you can determine if it's a nylon 6 if both fibers fit the same subclass, uh - general fiber catagory.

Davis: You see any differences there on that graph that was provided by Ms. Sakevicius?

Linch: State's 94 has, uh - spectral data, uh - infared spectral data that, uh - indicates that these two polymer types are very closely related.

Davis: And this is a test that you didn't perform, correct?

Linch: That's right.

Davis: Your Honor, at this time, I would ask that these graphs be marked and we can make copies if he needs to take this back with him. Uh - be marked as composite state's exhibit -

Davis: 123?


Davis: 125.

The Court: Alright, they may be recieved.

Davis: Let me ask you this -


Davis: - Mr. Linch, did you draw this graph on here yourself? How did those dots and that line get on that - alright, and the reason I ask that, I notice on the one that Ms. Sakevicius provided, it appears that this is some sort of computer generated graph where yours looks like it's kindly homemade.

Linch: This is not homemade, this is generated by a very expensive computer and a, uh - printer from the microspectrophotometer.

Davis: Ok, so those little red dots and the black line are provided by a computer?

Linch: That's right.

Davis: Ok. Now does flattening of a fiber change it's color characteristics?

Linch: It changes the color as seen under the microscope - flat microscope, but in doing the spectral analysis you still have the same colored combinations.

Davis: Ok. And you can change the shape of a fiber by flattening or crushing it or uh - taking forceps and pinching it, correct?

Linch: Absolutely.

Davis: Ok. And so, your main difference that you noted and remember when you talked with Mr. Fogleman, he asked you, "What, in your opinion, was the basis for the difference?" an you indicated to him that the main difference was the shape of the two fibers. Right?

Linch: Shape and color.

Davis: Ok. But you said the main point was the shape, correct?

Linch: That's right, the main one was the shape.

Davis: Ok. And at that time, you were surprised to find out that the question fiber had had it's shape altered by being flattened, correct?

Linch: I wasn't particularly surprised, there remained enough of the question fiber that was relatively intact to do a comparison.

Davis: Ok. Well, in fact, if you weren't surprised to find that out, how come you asked Mr. Fogleman and also I believe Officer Allen when he talked with ya, "How did Lisa manage to get this fiber flattened - how did she do it, I hadn't been able to do it".

Linch: I was wondering if I could duplicate what I had seen on the question fiber slide.

Davis: Ok. And the effect of flattening it would affect what you observe and what you're comparing with, correct?

Linch: It wouldn't affect the spectral data, but it would affect any conclusions you make regarding the cross section in the deformed region of the fiber. But in the region of the fiber that is relatively undeformed - and then you can still, uh - make certain judgements about the structure of the fiber, the shape of the fiber.

Davis: Ok. And it's true that - that, uh - rayon fibers, uh - aren't that common, correct?

Linch: That's right.

Davis: Ok. So your cotton fibers, your nylons would all be more common than a rayon fiber?

Linch: Cottons and polyesters are probably the most common.

Davis: Ok. Pass the witness, your Honor.

Ford: A couple of follow up questions, Mr. Linch, was the entire fiber flattened or part of it?

Linch: One end was flattened and one end was relatively intact.

Ford: Ok. The comparison as to shape, is that based on the unflattened end or the flattened end?

Linch: The unflattened end.

Ford: Ok. Did you take fibers from the robe itself, independantly and attempt to flatten them?

Linch: Yes sir, I did.

Ford: Tell the jury what you did in order to try to flatten it, the way you observed it flattened in the other slide.

Linch: Using methods of squeezing with forceps, squeezing with a scapel blade, beating with a hammer, I was unable to duplicate the appearance of the fiber from the shirt. Using what is known as a carbor press, applying 2,000 lbs. per square inch to the fibers, I was able to flatten them but they still did not flatten in exact same way as the question fiber. I did -

Ford: Ok. Does the information and the evidence about this fiber being flattened, does it change your opinion as to whether or not these two ro - these two fibers came from the same source?

Linch: No sir, it does not.

Ford: And were you aware of the fact that it had been flattened prior to getting on that witness stand here today?

Linch: I was aware of the possibility, and it certainly microscopically appears to have been flattened, you can just tell that by looking through a microscope - one end of it.

Ford: Alright. The very first day that you attempted to make this fiber comparison, did you go through a process in attempt to flatten it?

Linch: Yes, I did.

Ford: Ok. Before you ever talked with anybody from the prosecution?

Linch: That's right.

Ford: I'm going to show you what is state's exhibit number 93, which is a microspectrophotometry flattening, which was done by Ms. Sakevicius. Does her own test indicate that they are a match or not a match?

Linch: The data points represented in, uh - state's 93 of the two different curves does not meet my criteria to call these two fibers a match.

Ford: Could you mark on that exhibit please, each place on that graph which you rely upon in saying they are not matches.

Linch: May I step down -

Ford: - Sure.

Linch: - And use the tablet rather than -

Ford: Yes please, if you can - if that would be easier to explain your answer to the jury.


Linch: I'll sketch a very rough representation of - of what is in, uh - state's 93. This represents spectral data from two different fibers before flattening.


Linch: The - again, excuse the representation here, but it illustrates the point that in the apex region, there is a certain amount of agreement, that means the color combinations are in agreement. There is however, a difference as this point and there are differences in this region. The - in order - if this had been - well, meeting my criteria or a match, one curve would look like this and the other curve would be under it exactly the same, different spacings. It's the points of intersection that indicate that the colors as analyzed by the spectrophotometer are different.

Ford: And if the color is different, they can't have the same source, can they?

Linch: Within a source, you can have many different fiber types in a carpet, but specifically a source such as the red robe in this case, the rayons fibers might make up the outer shell of the robe are uh - for the most part, uniformed. And I found no fibers from the robe that were uh - similar in color or shape to the fiber from the uh - black and white plaid shirt.

Ford: Ok. Mr. Linch, do some garments - some types of material, are they more likely to create a transfer than other garments?

Linch: Absolutely.

Ford: Is it important that the garment be able to shed it's fibers onto another garment in order for a transfer to occur?

Linch: Shedibility is an important factor with regard to, uh - a fiber transfer.

Ford: Alright. Did you examine this robe for it's shredibility?

Linch: Yes sir, I did.

Ford: And it is - is this the type of garment that is - that makes transfers?

Linch: The rayons fibers are not easily released, uh - from the robe.

Ford: Which would make it difficult for a transfer to occur?

Linch: In order for a transfer to occur, I had to pinch it with my fingers and literally pull the fibers out. They are not easily shed as maybe a sweater or a loosely held carpet fiber would be.

Ford: So this is not the kind of garment that would shed a fiber merely by brushing up against it in the closet?

Linch: No sir.

Ford: Pass the witness.

Davis: Mr. Linch, generally speaking, rayon fibers aren't easily shed period, right? I mean, rayon fibers are less likely to shed than others.

Linch: That's right.

Davis: And obviously the fiber was found there at the crimescene or on the clothing of one of the victims, so it was shed. From somewhere, correct?

Linch: That's right.

Davis: Ok. Now, I wanna go back and just ask you 'cause I think - in looking back over my notes, I incorrectly interpreted a couple of things. Originally, your opinion to Mr. Fogleman, you indicated that the reason you found a difference between the question fiber and the known sample was because on the question fibers - were flat on one end and the known samples weren't crimped, correct?

Linch: That wasn't the only thing, the flattened end is very obvious to anybody looking through the microscope, that they had been flattened.

Davis: Ok, if you would, let me ask - let me - get you to answer the question. The crimped or the flat end was a characteristic which you couldn't find on fibers from the robe and therefore, that was one of the basis that you used for saying that they came from different sources, correct?

Linch: That wasn't the main basis.

Davis: Well, was it one of the basis that you used?

Linch: You consider all the factors of your observation.

Davis: Ok. But -

The Court: Just give a yes or no, then you can explain your answer.

Linch: Yes sir.

Davis: Ok. In other words, the fact that one fiber had been - was flattened and the fibers from the robe weren't flattened indicated to you they came from different sources?

Linch: That was one indication, yes.

Davis: Ok. And it turned out that the flattened end of the fiber was something that was done after it was taken into evidence or into custody.

Linch: That's what I'm told.

Davis: Ok. Now also did you not tell Mr. Fogleman that the fibers from the robe were all perfectly circular?

Linch: I don't recall if I said they were all perfectly circular. I said that the fibers from the robe had very pronounced striations, or I think I did.

Davis: Ok. Did - are you denying that you told Mr. Fogleman that the fibers from the robe were all perfectly circular?

Linch: I - I don't know if I used the words 'perfectly circular', but they were in general circular, yes sir.

Davis: Ok. And part of the reason you had the flat fiber, that was the question fiber and you had the circular fibers from the robe, and that's part of the reason you said they didn't match - right?

Linch: Part of the reason, yes sir.

Davis: Ok. And you told him that the main reason for your analysis and for your opinion was the shape of the fibers?

Linch: That's right.

Davis: No further questions, your Honor.

Ford: No further questions.

The Court: You're free to go, sir, thank you very much.

Linch: Thank you.

The Court: Call your next witness.