Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In the news

Here are some excerpts from a recent news story highlighting the use of surveillance video in court:

From Fosters Daily Democrat - "... Images taken from surveillance footage at the gas station show a car similar to Twardus' green Subaru Impreza pulling into the station a little after noon on Aug. 8, 2007, the day police first received word of Gorham's disappearance.

The Subaru is a unique vehicle because it is a model with only one side mirror. Of 219 such Imprezas registered in New Hampshire, only 34 of them had one side mirror, according to Zabarsky's affidavit. Police tracked down the owners of those other vehicles and have determined there was no reason for any of them to have been in Colebrook at that time.

Investigators enlisted the help of Grant Fredericks, a forensic video analyst from Spokane, Wash., to analyze the video footage. He staged a re-creation of the Aug. 8, 2007 footage using Twardus' seized vehicle in August 2008. According to a report he wrote, both the car in question and the sweat shirt of the man seen driving it are consistent with Twardus' Impreza and a sweat shirt he owned that police seized while searching his father's Gonic home.

"The questioned shirt is consistent in every respect to the known shirt," he said, adding, "the Questioned Vehicle cannot be eliminated as being the Known Vehicle and there is a strong likelihood they are one and the same."

"The evidence clearly points to Jason Twardus," Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said, while Lilley argued "consistent with" is not sufficient to lead to criminal charges.

"Those are not standards we're familiar with in criminal law," he said. ..."

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

In a related story ...

"... Police also believe they have security footage showing Twardus' vehicle, a rare model with only one side mirror, at a Big Apple convenience store in Colebrook, about 7 miles from where Gorham's body was found, on the morning of Aug. 8, the affidavit said.

The surveillance footage also shows a male walking into the store to purchase some drinks and gasoline. The man resembles Twardus — several friends and acquaintances identified it as him — and he appears to be wearing a hooded sweat shirt that a forensic video expert Grant Fredericks found to be consistent with a sweat shirt police retrieved during a search of Twardus' residence. Fredericks also said it is likely the vehicle in the footage is Twardus' Subaru."There is a strong likelihood they are one and the same," the affidavit quoted him as saying. ..."

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

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