Forensic Experts Testify in Banks' Trial

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - On Friday jurors in Zecary Banks' attempted murder trial heard from two forensic scientists who work for the New York State Police Crime Lab in Albany. They tested the revolver allegedly used in the shooting at Patrick's Pub last July. However, they said the results of those tests were inconclusive.

The first scientist to take the stand said she examined swabs taken from the revolver found at Dollar General on Aug. 4.

Elmira Police swabbed the handle, barrel, cylinder as well as other parts of the gun and sent the swabs to the lab in Albany. The scientist said she was unable to find any evidence on the gun that matched a DNA profile.

However she said it's possible that the rain and high temperatures recorded in Elmira during that week could have wiped DNA evidence away. She said she also tested another sample which police believed could have been a piece of hair found on the gun. She said it was just a fiber, and that they can't test that for DNA.

She also tested the shell casings found in the revolver for consistencies with the slugs found in four of the victims, but still found nothing.

The second scientist said she actually fired the revolver in her tests, using the same type of Smith & Wesson .38 caliber rounds so she could look for consistencies in the grooves made by the barrel of the gun.

She said the test bullets had similar markings to three of the four bullets turned over to the lab, but she could not definitively say the bullets found in the victims were fired from the revolver found at Dollar General.

The prosecution asked her to tell the jury about slippage. She said revolvers are commonly associated with slippage; a term used to describe the way the bullet has to jump from the chamber into the barrel, often showing inconsistent results when compared to a semi-automatic pistol.

The defense asked the scientist if the bullets could have come from two different guns. She said that was also inconclusive.

Court resumes Monday morning at 10 a.m. when the defense is expected to call their first witness.


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