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State v. Couch, 111 S.W.2d 147 (Missouri 1937)

Case (cite)
State v. Couch, 111 S.W.2d 147 (Missouri 1937)
Type of proceeding
Type of claim
Type of claim (second claim)
Expert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appeal:
What was the ruling?
Correct to Admit
Type of evidence at issue:
Firearms identification
Defense or Prosecution Expert
Name of expert(s) who were the subject of the ruling
Summary of reasons for ruling
Defendant argued the expert was not a ballistics expert. The court held that despite not calling himself a "ballistics expert," the expert's testimony showed that he was an expert in firearms identification and bullet comparison. The court noted that "the rule is now well settled that such evidence is competent and may be considered by the jury in arriving at a verdict."
The jurisdiction’s standard for expert admissibility at the time – list all that apply: (Frye), (Daubert), (Post-2000 Rule 702), (Other)
Second standard
Did lower court hold a hearing
Names of prosecution expert(s) two testified at hearing
Names of defense expert(s) who testified at hearing (or None).
Discussion of 2009 NAS Report (NAS2009)
Discussion of 2016 PCAST report (PCAST)
Discussion of error rates / reliability
Frye Ruling
Limiting testimony ruling
Language imposed by court to limit testimony
Ruling based in prior precedent / judicial notice
Daubert ruling emphasizing – which factors – (list 1-5)
Ruling on qualifications of expert
Ruling on 702(a) – the expert will help / assist the jury
Ruling on 702(b) – the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data
Ruling on 702(c) – the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods
Ruling on 702(d) – reliable application of principles and methods to the facts of the case


The witness did testify that he was not a ballistic expert, but that he had had much experience in the work of identifying firearms; that the term “ballistic expert” did not apply to his line of work. In this the witness may be technically correct. But, be that as it may, the witness’ testimony disclosed that he was an expert in the identification of firearms and bullets by the comparison method by means of a microscope. The method used in this case to identify the shells and revolvers was similar to the method employed in the case of State v. Shawley, 334 Mo. 352, 67 S.W. 2d 74, loc. cit. 80. The question was there fully considered and it was held that the witness was qualified to testify. The rule is now well settled that such evidence is competent and may be considered by the jury in arriving at a verdict.