Bite-mark expert stands by his testimony, though he can’t recall much about it
A bite-mark expert who claimed to have matched bite marks on an elderly woman’s body to the man accused of her murder didn’t see the need to prepare for a deposition taken after the case was reopened.
During the April deposition, the expert, Michael West, was “belligerent, profane, and combative” as he was questioned about his conclusions in Mississippi’s case against Eddie Lee Howard, the Washington Postreports.
Howard was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to death. He is represented by lawyers from the Innocence Project, who cite tests showing Howard’s DNA was not on the knife allegedly used to kill the 84-year-old victim.
West has defended his work, though he said in a 2011 deposition the science “is not as exact as I had hoped” and “DNA has made it fairly obsolete.” Critics have long questioned his forensic claims and have alleged he is able to see marks on the skin with the help of a blue light that others have been unable to detect.
West defended his testimony in Howard’s case in the April deposition, though he doesn’t appear to recall much about it.
According to the Post, the deposition began this way:
Q: Dr. West, I see that you have no documents with you; is that right?