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McDaniel v. State, 632 P.2d 534 (Wyo. 1981)

Case (cite)
McDaniel v. State, 632 P.2d 534 (Wyo. 1981)
Year
1981
State
Wyoming
Type of proceeding
Appellate
Type of claim
Evidentiary
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
Admitted
What was the ruling?
Correct to Admit
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification; ballistics
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Prosecution
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Robert Christensen
Summary of reasons for ruling
We hold that the trial court properly considered the knowledge, experience and training of Christensen prior to qualifying him as an expert, and we will not disturb the sound discretion of the trial judge . . . Although Christensen had no formal degree in ballistics, he did testify on direct examination that he trained under a Dr. James Booker, the director of the crime laboratory and the firearms examiner at the Wyoming State Crime Laboratory. Further, he studied books on the subject of firearms identification and had done hundreds of comparisons for class characteristics on projectiles. Christensen has testified on seventeen occasions in courts of Wyoming as a firearm's examiner. . . Through employment, Christensen demonstrated his expertise in the field of firearms and ballistics. He had been trained by an expert to make bullet comparisons. He had special knowledge that could assist the jury, and the trial judge found him competent. . . Plus, an expert witness is not limited to direct examination but exposes himself to cross-examination to thoroughly test his expertise.
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
WRE 702
Did lower court hold a hearing
Y
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Robert Christensen
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
None
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009) or PCAST report (PCAST)
N
Discussion of error rates / reliability
N
Frye Ruling
N
Limiting testimony ruling
N
Language imposed by court to limit testimony
N/A
Ruling based in prior precedent / judicial notice
N
Daubert ruling emphasizing – which factors – (list 1-5)
N
Ruling on qualifications of expert
Y
Ruling on 702(a) – the expert will help / assist the jury
Y
Ruling on 702(b) – the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data
N
Ruling on 702(c) – the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods
N
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case
N

Notes