What to expect when you deploy your fact investigator on a case:
Go to scene after the event. Return a second time near the exact time of day the event occurred. Photos/video obtained each time. Scene canvasing. Interview those in the area. Look for all cameras in the area—Business cameras, private cameras, home security cameras, and doorbell cameras. MSD illegal dumping cameras and shot spotter equipment can also be located in the area.
Media search: Reading every news article can help begin establishing a timeline of events and ID potential witnesses.
Social media search: Digest every news article posted on social media news sites. Capture and preserve all comments made on each article. This is helpful in understanding the tone in the community.
Begin victimology: Internet searches on any victims can provide additional information. This may also assist later with possible Defense Incited Victim Outreach (DIVO).
Read through entire discovery. Locate any discrepancies. This will further assist in establishing the timeline of events. Listen to every interview conducted and critically analyze. Identify unexplored themes. Confirm policy and procedures were followed properly.
Address additional witnesses that were not interviewed.
Scene diagrams can be created by your own team. Several methods can be used to capture the scene. Cross projection method, triangulation method and coordinate method. Go back to the scene of the event after digesting discovery and speaking to witnesses to corroborate statements with the scene layout.
Meet the medical examiner with the attorney with a prepared list of questions. Discuss injuries, trajectories, cause/s of death and go over photos that were entered into evidence.
Investigator and attorney should go to the police department and review each piece of evidence. Photograph all evidence. Establish what has been sent to the lab and when. Review evidence log. Help substantiate if an expert is needed. Determine if a secondary lab should conduct additional testing. Your investigator is not an expert but sufficient experience can help articulate to the court why an expert is required.
Open Record Request:
All police reports, 911 calls, and police radio/CADS. Mobile data terminal conversations. Department policy and procedure manual. Shift rosters and beat assignments. Personnel files. Drone footage. CCTV cameras deployed by the police. HUD cameras located on federal housing property. FOIA request. Shot spotter information and MSD dumping cameras launched to detect illegal dumping. Staying current on new technology used by law enforcement is paramount.
Investigators can serve subpoenas for person and records required by the defense team.
Interview all persons involved. This includes vicarious involvement. Theories of defense can often be constructed by speaking to subjects who did not witness the actual event. These witnesses can be important for theme development.
Investigative Plan of Action:
During the digestion of discovery a comprehensive list is composed of tasks. This list will be explored at team meetings.
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