The Tiger Woods D.U.I. Case: Analysis Under Ohio Law

During the early morning hours of Memorial Day, Tiger Woods was arrested near his Florida home for D.U.I.. Police found Woods asleep behind the wheel of his badly damaged Mercedes, with engine running, but parked along the roadside. Woods was awakened by the police and exhibited slurred speech while stating he was coming from California and didn’t know where he was according to the police report. Woods took a breathalyzer test which registered 0.00 and a urine test with as of yet unknown results. Later that day, Woods issued a statement that alcohol was not involved but rather he had an “unexpected reaction to prescription medications.”

So how would Ohio law deal with the Tiger Woods case? To answer that question, a few issues must be analyzed? First, the name of the charge, i.e., D.U.I. (Driving Under the Influence) has no significance. D.U.I., D.W.I. (Driving While Intoxicated), or O.V.I. (Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated) are all the same offense in Ohio and explained in § 4511.19 of the Ohio Revised Code. Those accused of D.U.I. are all charged under §4511.19 and the acronym assigned to the charge is unrelated to the facts or penalty.

The second issue is whether Tiger Woods was “operating” a vehicle under Ohio law when his car was parked but with the engine running? Ohio law broadly defines “operating” and many courts have held a person sitting in a parked car with the engine running is operation. However, R.C. §4511.01 (HHH), requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the person charged with D.U.I. drove the vehicle while impaired or under the influence. Sitting or sleeping in a car, even with the engine running, may not be sufficient to prove the charged person operated the vehicle while impaired.

The last issue is whether taking prescription drugs resulting in a driver’s impairment can give rise in an Ohio D.U.I. charge? The answer is YES. R.C. § 4511.19 states “no personal shall operate any vehicle…at the time of operation…the person is under the influence of alcohol a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.” Since drugs like Percocet, Valium, and Oxycodone are drugs of abuse, the presence of these drugs in one’s blood or urine along with signs of impairment can result in a D.U.I. charge and conviction. Therefore, Tiger Woods could be convicted under Ohio law even if his impairment was the result of pain medication prescribed to him by a doctor due to back surgery. This is consistent with the law that, in Ohio, D.U.I. is a strict liability offense; meaning if a person became impaired from taking medication then the responsibility is upon them not to operate a motor vehicle. However, a person can only be convicted of a crime in Ohio if they commit a voluntary act. For example, if a driver becomes impaired because someone drugged his drink then the law would not hold him criminally responsible. Can Tiger Woods and his lawyers develop a theory of defense that his impairment was involuntary; meaning, he was unaware the drugs he took and the combination thereof would result in his “adverse reaction.” In similar cases, the defense has called a toxicologist who testifies that the impairment was drug induced but not one readily known to the person charged with the offense.  If this can be done, then the prosecution may have a difficult time convicting Tiger of a D.U.I. offense.

If you need a lawyer for a D.U.I.  case, call Attorney W. Joseph Edwards (614-309-0243) who has over 25 years experience representing clients in legal matters.


Obstruction of Justice and The White House

Currently, there appears to be two separate legal investigations happening at the White House. The first investigation is attempting to discover whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election. The second legal investigation involves the actions of Trump and his staff after he was elected President and is attempting to discover whether Trump’s firing of then FBI Director James Comey was actually an attempt to stop the investigation into possible collusion.  Although it has received somewhat less attention, obstruction of justice is actually a very serious accusation. Two former presidents have been impeached or forced to resign from the office for the offense. In 1974, Richard Nixon was forced to resign after his attempts to hinder the Watergate investigations, and more recently, Bill Clinton was impeached by the House after lying to a grand jury about a sexual relationship with a White House employee. As is often the case, attempts to cover up possible wrong doings can lead to more serious consequences than the actual crime alleged to have been committed.

Obstruction of justice covers a broad set of actions all of which are intended to impede an official investigation. Those actions are criminalized by Federal Law in multiple sections of Title 18, all of which have some variation language making it a crime for someone to corruptly obstruct, influence or impede any official proceeding. While the catchall language is broad, specific actions like killing a witness, lying to investigators or destroying evidence is also contained within the statutes.

The questions currently be investigated are whether President Trump’s asking former director Comey to stop the investigation and then by later firing him be a criminal act covered by obstruction of justice statutes. Because the statute covers such a broad range of actions, the power disparity in the relationship  between President Trump and Comey could elevate the request to terminate the Russia investigation to a crime. Could President Trump’s firing of Comey constitute obstruction of justice even though the President had the legal authority to fire him? The answer to that question is also yes. Courts have routinely ruled that otherwise permissible acts can constitute obstruction of justice if they are done with nefarious intentions. For example, a federal appeals case from 1998 held that a lawyer who had filed legal complaints and motions against a government agent who was investigating an illegal gambling operation was properly convicted of obstructing justice. The Court ruled that the lawyer’s “nominally litigious related conduct” was unlawful solely because his real intent was “to safeguard his personal financial interest” in the illegal gambling operation.

Obstruction of justice cases can be difficult to prove, because they often hinge on whether prosecutors can prove the defendant’s state of mind at the time when the committed the act. It is not enough to merely show the accused knew the act would hinder an investigation, but rather, prosecutors must prove impeding the investigation was the specific purpose of the act. A person’s state of mind can obviously be a very difficult thing to prove. Interestingly, the underlying investigation that triggered an investigation charge does not have to result in criminal activity being uncovered for an individual to be guilty of obstruction of justice. Thus, President Trump could be found guilty of obstructing justice even if no evidence of collusion with Russia is found.




If you need a lawyer for a criminal State or Federal case, call Attorney W. Joseph Edwards (614-309-0243) who has over 25 years experience representing clients in these legal matters.


The Courtroom and Artificial Intelligence in Judicial Decision Making

Artificial Intelligence in Judicial Decision Making

Artificial Intelligence in the courtroom and your Columbus, Ohio Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen Chief Justice John Roberts visited Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in April, he was asked what seemed like a question straight from the realm of science fiction by the Institute’s president. The college president asked if he could foresee a day when machines driven by artificial intelligence will assist with judicial decision making. The Chief Justice replied that he did not need to imagine a time when artificial intelligence was used in judicial decision making; it’s already here.

Sentenced to Prison Based on a Private Company’s Software

The Chief Justice may have been thinking about a case of a Wisconsin man, Eric Loomis, who was sentenced to six years in prison based on a private company’s software program when he answered the president’s question. Mr. Loomis is now arguing his due process rights were violated when the judge used the report generated by the software’s proprietary algorithm which Mr. Loomis was not able to inspect or challenge. In a sign that the justices were interested in the issues presented by Mr. Loomis’ case, they requested the federal government file a friend of the  court brief to offer its view on whether the court should hear his appeal.

The report was generated by a product called Compass, and the report included a series of charts that assessed the risk of recidivism. In other words, how likely Mr. Loomis was to go on to commit additional crimes. The report and the judge both determined that Mr. Loomis had a high risk for recidivism. During sentencing the judge stated, “you’re identified, through the Compass assessment, as an individual who is a high risk to the community.” The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled against Mr. Loomis holding he would have gotten the same sentence using the usual factors. However, the Court did seem to express concern about the use of a secret algorithm to sentence an individual to prison.

In a dissenting opinion, one justice expressed concerns about how the algorithm may treat race as a factor in sentencing. She cited a study by ProPublica on the software’s use in Broward County, Florida that found black defendants “were far more likely than white defendants to be incorrectly judged to be at a higher risk of recidivism.” While the use of race in sentencing is not a new concept, the software’s secrecy raises a new concern, because the proprietary software does not explain how race is used to as a factor or how significant a weight it is given by the algorithm.


Columbus, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney

If you need an Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney and Federal Defense Lawyer, call Attorney W. Joseph Edwards 614-309-0243. Over 25 years experience representing clients in these legal matters.

Viewers Beware: Can Watching a Crime on the Internet Get You in Trouble?

Earlier this week, Chicago police arrested two suspects in the brutal sexual assault of a 15 year-old girl. The attack was recorded by one of the perpetrators who live streamed it on Facebook where it was viewed by about 40 people. The victim knew at least one of her attackers and was lured to a house where she was not allowed to leave. A teenager from the victim’s neighborhood alerted a family member after seeing the video on Facebook. The relative took screenshots of the attack to the mother which she later took to police. While videos like the one involved in this case make it easier for law enforcement to solve crimes and punish the perpetrators, their presence on social media can add extra trauma to victims.

Viewing crimes on the internetPolice say they have seen several criminal acts broadcast on social media in the last few months and they are growing increasingly frustrated by the number of individuals who watch the crimes being broadcast and do not call 911. Community activists in Chicago agree and wish there was a way to punish viewers. One such community activist said he hopes those who viewed the gang rape of the young woman and did not report it are criminally charged.

However, legal experts say charging viewers criminally for not calling authorities would be extremely difficult. Ordinary citizens do not have a duty to report a crime or to act to stop the commission of a crime, even if they witness it in person. There are some exceptions to the general rule though. For example, many states require people in certain professions to report suspicions of child abuse and some other crimes. Prosecutors would have to prove a viewer charged with a crime had a duty to report the crime that was recognized by the law, which is impossible in most instances.

Witnessing a crime on social media poses even more difficulty for law enforcement than witnessing a crime in person. Law enforcement would have to prove the individual who owned the account was the one who actually viewed the crime. Additionally, prosecutors would have to prove that the person who viewed the crime knew the act they were witnessing was real and a crime. With the ease and prevalence of  programs like photoshop, many experts agree the public should be skeptical about what they view on the internet, which makes the job of law enforcement more difficult when attempting to prove the viewer knew what they were witnessing was real.

Legal experts think that in this case, a federal statute might actually make the job of prosecuting viewers easier for law enforcement. Because the victim in this case was 15 years old, the federal statute governing child pornography could be used to criminally charge viewers. Under federal law, an individual who possesses any images of the crime are guilty of possessing child pornography and just watching the video is grounds for culpability. Those who “like” or share the video could be charged with aiding the criminal act or distributing child pornography. In fact, the two suspects in this case were charged with manufacturing and distributing child pornography in addition to a host of other criminal charges.


If you need a lawyer for a criminal State or Federal case, call Attorney W. Joseph Edwards (614-309-0243) who has over 25 years experience representing clients in these legal matters.



Cocaine Purity: Not an Issue When Determining Felony Level of Cocaine Charges

cocaine purity testing and Ohio drug charges sentencing for cocaine chargesOnly two months after ruling that prosecutors must prove the actual amount of cocaine in a substance, without fillers, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed its decision. In its original decision, the Court held that the definition of cocaine according to Ohio law did not include any substance used as fillers. Thus, when law enforcement is determining the weight of a cocaine in order to assess cocaine charges, they must only use the weight of the pure cocaine found in any given substance.
The problem with the original decision is twofold.

Ohio Crime Labs

First, Ohio crime labs do not have the sophisticated and costly equipment necessary to determine the exact weight of pure cocaine. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said sending the cocaine to labs out of the state of Ohio would be expensive.

Cocaine Charges and Degree of Offense

Second, the degree of the offense is determined by the weight of the substance. For example, possession of any amount of cocaine less than 5 grams is a fifth degree felony and punishable by no more than a year in prison. Possession of any amount of cocaine exceeding 100 grams is punishable as a felony of the first degree and the offender is designated a major drug offender requiring the court to impose a mandatory maximum prison term. The problem for law enforcement is that, when only the pure cocaine in a substance is weighed, it is unlikely that most possession offenses would rise above a felony of the fifth degree. The narrow holding of the count would prevent major drug offenders from being punished more harshly.

The Court attempted to rectify the problems created by its first holding by turning to the language of the statute as a whole as well as the legislative history surrounding the statute. The statute’s definition of cocaine clearly encompasses the whole substance including any filler or material used in preparation. The statute does not include any language to suggest only pure cocaine may be weighed to determine the amount involved in the offense. The Court also looked to the nature of the drug itself suggesting it was rare for pure powdered cocaine to be sold.

Instead, the Court explained that cocaine powder is often combined or “cut” with one or more or more substances before sale which dilutes the purity. The entire substance is then consumed by the user. This practice was known at the time the statute was written suggesting the authors of the statute were not concerned with how much actual cocaine was found in any given substance. If they had been interested in determining only the amount of pure cocaine in the substance, they would have expressly called for such in the language of the statute itself. While the Court felt that the language in the statute was clear, they also pointed to the legislative history and the circumstances under which the statue was created to further explain their holding. They found the legislative history never mentioned purity of the drug but rather that punishment should be rendered “regardless of the form of cocaine involved.”



If you need a lawyer for Federal Drug Charges or Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney or Immigration case, call Attorney W. Joseph Edwards 614-309-0243 who has over 25 years experience representing clients in these legal matters.


The Battle Over Sanctuary Cities and Immigration Enforcement

Immigration Enforcement

Late last month, President Trump issued an executive order to support immigration enforcement by punishing local governments that do not comply with federal authorities. In these so-called “sanctuary cities,” local officials have refused to detain or hand over illegal immigrants for removal. President Trump’s executive order has led to questions over the process of deportation and how a sanctuary city can interfere with that process.

Immigration Enforcement and Sanctuary CitiesAs it currently stands, federal law does not require local authorities to detain illegal immigrants solely based on the fact that they are not in the country legally. Federal courts across the country have held that complying with a federal counterparts request to detain an individual is voluntary. President Trump’s executive order directs federal immigration agents to target a much broader group of illegal immigrants for removal. Prior to the order, an individual had to be convicted of a crime to trigger the crime based grounds for removal. The order signed by President Trump calls for the removal of any individuals who “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense or pose a risk to public safety in the judgment of an immigration officer.” The problem with this directive is that federal agents rely on local police to enforce detention policy. This is where sanctuary cities factor into the equation.

Jails are typically run by counties, and local law enforcement are usually the first point of contact in the removal process. Therefore, local policies governing the detention of illegal immigrants can often matter more to these individuals than the federal policy. In sanctuary cities, local law enforcement officials choose not to detain or trigger the deportation process for any illegal immigrant they come in contact with for various reasons. Police and politicians in sanctuary cities say they don’t want to deter anyone from coming to them for help or to report a crime. If a person can be deported for providing the police with information, they may be unwilling to come forward and provide information that can be extremely valuable to police officers when solving crimes. Thus, sanctuary cities are not necessarily designed as a political statement but can be a legitimate response to the concerns of law enforcement and local officials.

Recently, however, the creation of sanctuary cities has been very political. Columbus’  Mayor, Andrew Ginther, signed an executive order directing local officials to abstain from using local resources to enforce efforts to detain and deport undocumented immigrants in support of Columbus’ large refugee community. Ginther, who is a democrat, took issue with President Trump’s mandates concerning immigration enforcement. The mayor’s action prompted a swift response from Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel who publicly backed a proposed state law to not only ban sanctuary cities in Ohio but also hold city officials criminally and civilly liable for crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.



If you need a Criminal Lawyer or Immigration Attorney, call Attorney W. Joseph Edwards 614-309-0243 who has over 25 years experience representing clients in these legal matters. You can also follow us on Facebook at:


Ohio Passes Bill Protecting from Civil Forfeiture

Civil Forfeitures in Ohio

Earlier this month, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a bill that requires a criminal conviction before law enforcement can permanently deprive someone of personal property in a civil forfeiture state. This law makes Ohio one of only 11 states with protection in place for personal property when an individual is accused of a crime.

Ohio law on Civil Forfeiture and Columbus, OH criminal Defense Attorney HelpUnder the law, law enforcement cannot seize property amounting to under $15,000 without first securing a criminal conviction. Setting a threshold for civil forfeiture cases should protect the majority of Ohioans who find themselves enmeshed in the criminal justice system for a variety of reasons. A study by the Institute for Justice in 2015 found that in Illinois and Minnesota half of the forfeiture cases involved amounts between $451 and $530. The amounts involved suggest that the majority of those individuals who have assets seized are not drug kingpins or parts of large, organized criminal enterprises.

The new law shifts the burden of proof from individuals accused of a crime to law enforcement officials. Not only will individuals no longer need to prove their innocence, the burden of proof on the State has also been increased. The State must now prove their case by “clear and convincing evidence” before permanently seizing property.

Ohio’s new forfeiture law will have a dramatic effect on law enforcement’s ability to seize and seek forfeitures on all property but particularly smaller items like weapons/firearms. Law enforcement will routinely seize firearms from vehicles when drugs are found anywhere, on any person, in said vehicle. The new law should prevent the unlawful seizure of weapons from an “innocent owner” who is not convicted of any criminal offense.




If you need an Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer or Federal Defense Attorney, call Attorney W. Joseph Edwards 614-309-0243 who has over 25 years experience representing clients in these legal matters.




Government Revenues and The Costs of Incarceration

When people think about the cost of jail, they often think in terms of loss of freedom and loss of wages.  However, many people fail to realize there is an actual cost to being incarcerated.

costs of incarceration, the real expenses of jail and being arrested in Columbus, OhioLater this month, the United States Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a case about the fines charged to individuals arrested. The case originated in Ramsey County Minnesota where Corey Statham was arrested with $46 in his pocket on a charge of disorderly conduct. He was released two days later and the charges were dismissed. Upon release, the County informed Statham that he owed them $25 for a booking fee.  The jail informed him they had placed his money on a debit card and he could use it to withdraw the rest of his money. The debit card was not affiliated with any bank, so he was charged additional fees to withdraw the money.

Costs of Incarceration to Raise Money

Ramsey County is not alone in using costs of incarceration in raising to bolster its coiffeurs. Nationally there is a trend to use incarceration for any length of time and regardless of guilt to raise money by charging those who find themselves interacting with the criminal justice system a wide range of fines.  Kentucky charges individuals the cost of incarcerating them, even if charges are later dismissed. In Colorado, multiple towns made over 30% of their annual revenue from traffic tickets and fines.  A report by the Justice Department found that in Ferguson, Missouri city officials repeatedly emphasized that maximizing revenue should be a top priority for law enforcement officials.

A coalition of civil rights groups, criminal defense attorneys, libertarian groups and conservatives are challenging thee fund raising efforts in the court system. These groups are challenging the ability to take private property of citizens without any constitutional protections. They also suggest that these fines can often result in poor people being trapped in a cycle of debt and jail.

Convictions Overturned and Refunds of Fines and Costs

The Supreme Court will hear a case this month about a Colorado law that makes it extremely difficult for individuals who later have their convictions overturned to obtain refunds of fines and costs often amounting to thousands of dollars. Colorado requires those seeking a refund of costs of incarceration to file a separate lawsuit and prove their innocence by clear and convincing evidence. It is difficult if not impossible for most individuals to afford the cost of such lawsuits.

Ramsey County makes individuals submit evidence to have their booking fees returned. When Mr. Statham’s case was argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit last year, a lawyer for the county acknowledged that the fine scheme in place was in conflict with the presumption of innocence required by the Constitution.

The Supreme Court will likely grapple with the same issue that plagued both the 7th Circuit and 8th Circuit courts. Are the protections guaranteed by the Due Process Clause triggered when such small amounts of money are involved? The 8th Circuit cited precedent from other circuit courts as well as the US Supreme Court stating that the Due Process Clause “sets no minimum threshold value for which protection begins.” However, the amount in question can be pertinent when determining whether interest to the state in collecting the fee outweighs the burden placed on the individual.

Perhaps $25 seems like a tiny sum to go through so much effort.  But it can be an extraordinary expense to the working poor. It represents almost half a day’s work at the Federal minimum wage and it is about the weekly amount the federal food stamp program allots to feed an adult.


If you need a lawyer for a criminal State of Ohio or criminal Federal case call Attorney W. Joseph Edwards (614-309-0243) who has over 25 years experience representing clients in these legal matters.

New Ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court a Big Win for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Columbus Police Dashcam Public Records - Criminal Defense AttorneyThe Ohio Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that the videos taken from police dash- cams are public records and should be released upon request. The decision by the Court was unanimous. The Court did, however, rule that certain parts of the videos could be redacted if they pertained to an ongoing investigation.

The case before the Court involved a traffic stop in Wayne County, Ohio. An officer with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (“OSHP”) received a call from dispatch relaying a civilian tip about a maroon Ford Fusion traveling south that was missing a rear license plate and driving erratically. The officer spotted the car and signaled for the driver to pull over. The driver did not pull over and a chase ensued. The chase ended when the driver of the car crashed into a guardrail. He was arrested and charged with multiple felonies. The Cincinnati Enquirer sent an email to OSHP requesting a copy of the dash-cam recordings along with several other pieces of information related to the traffic stop. Their request was denied by OSHP stating the prosecutors had asked the video not be released until all Court proceedings had ended. The reporter from the Enquirer asked the OSHP to cite a specific exception to the Public Records Act that would support their denial, and in response, the OSHP cited the exception for confidential law-enforcement investigatory records.

Ohio Supreme Court Says Dash-Cam Recordings Public Records

The Ohio Supreme Court disagreed with OSHP‘s reasoning. The Court said “dash-cam recordings fit within the definition of a “record” because they document governmental activities, decisions and operations during a traffic stop and pursuit,” and therefore, fall under the domain of the Public Records Act. However, the Court went on to say the dash-cam recordings do not meet the requirements to fall within the exception for confidential law-enforcement investigatory records, because “[t]he work product exception does not include ongoing routine offense and incident reports, including, but not limited to, records relating to a charge of driving while under the influence and records containing the results of intoxilyzer tests.” The only part of the recordings that may be withheld is the 90 second period where the officer questions the driver, because those statements could be used by the prosecutor during a trial.

Big Win For Criminal Defense Attorneys

The availability of dash-cam recordings is a big win for criminal defense attorneys and their clients. Dash-cam videos can help defend against DUI charges as well as drug possession charges as most drug charges result from a traffic stop. Watching the videos allows criminal defense attorneys to witness the events as they unfolded instead of relying on second hand information and reports.



Call Joe Edwards at 614-309-0243 if you have any questions regarding a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense.


Forensic Science in the Courtroom: The Good, The Bad and The Science

Forensic Science and Convictions

America’s love affair with forensic science may have begun with shows like CSI and NCIS, but the sciences themselves have been around for centuries. The first American  convicted of murder based primarily on fingerprint evidence was Thomas Jennings who was found guilty of murder in 1910. forensic evidence used by prosecution to convictIn response to Mr. Jennings’ appeal, a higher court pointed out the long, successful use of fingerprints as means of identification but did caution that the ability to properly identify and match fingerprints was beyond the knowledge of the average person. Thus, the need for experts to process and testify at trial.


Experts Testimony in the Courtroom

By the end of the century, there were experts in numerous fields testifying the courtrooms. Hair analysis experts were in court testifying to the microscopic scales present on strands of hair or the thickness and coloration of strands left behind at crime scenes. Bite mark analysis made its way to courtrooms in the 1970’s and by the mid to late 70’s experts were routinely in courtrooms comparing bite impressions between suspects and victims. Other visual experts compared things like tire tracks, boot impressions and bullet casings. Juries began to rely largely on this expert testimony and many largely circumstantial cases were decided on their testimony.

The problem is that these so-called sciences have come under scrutiny in the last decade or two for their reliability and accuracy. The problem is that these methods and interpretations tend to be less scientific and based more on craft. For example, the FBI now admits that its analysts made erroneous statements in court or while preparing expert opinions in cases in more than 90 percent of the microscopic hair analysis it has reviewed to date. This flawed analysis is often oversold in court sending potentially innocent people to jail or worse. In recent years, multiple stays of execution have been granted when the forensic evidence heavily relied upon by prosecutors and jurors have come under suspicion.

Human Error in Ohio Crime Lab Could Overturn Hundreds of Convictions

Issues with the use of forensic evidence in the courtroom does not always involve faulty
science. Often serious issues arise with the one element science cannot overcome: human error. In Ohio, hundreds of criminal convictions could be overturned after the findings of a forensic scientist in an Ohio crime lab have come under scrutiny. The forensic scientist, G. Michele Yezzo, is accused of manipulating evidence and her findings to help law enforcement and prosecutors build their cases. Colleagues and supervisors raised voiced concerns over her work and her behavior while she continued to test evidence and testify in an unknown number of cases; including death penalty cases. Their concerns about her work include using suspect methods while examining evidence from crime scenes and making mistakes that one former attorney general worries “could lead to a substantial miscarriage of justice.” In addition to her work, colleagues describe increasingly erratic behavior such as threatening to shoot a co-worker and exposing her breasts to a BCI agent. Her work was performed with little oversight despite the ongoing concerns about her behavior.

Defense attorneys in two cases have conducted their own investigations and believe they have proof of serious issues with her work. In one of the cases, the judge has released the defendant from prison due to substantial credibility issues detailed in her personnel file. The stakes in some of the cases her work was used in are enormous. Another man convicted of murder asked a judge last week to grant him a new trial due to her involvement in his case. The man, Kevin Keith, was just 13 days away from being executed. The key testimony in his case came from Yezzo who positively matched the tire tracks and license plate imprint in a snow bank to Keith’s vehicle. In 2010, a retired FBI forensic expert reviewed her work in the case and concluded her methods were riff with inaccuracies and that ultimately her conclusions were baseless.

In criminal cases, an attorney must never accept as “gospel” the findings of law enforcement experts whether it’s a breathalyzer test in a D.U.I. case or D.N.A. in a rape case, police experts make mistakes that can lead to the innocent being convicted.


If you need a lawyer for a criminal case in State or Federal case, call Attorney W. Joseph Edwards (614-309-0243) who has over 25 years experience representing clients in these legal matters.