Estados Unidos: los abogados defensores buscan un perito judicial lingüista forense que rebata la opinión de su homólogo contratado por el Fiscal, quien ha revisado y cotejado innumerables correos electrónicos de los tres acusados de asesinato con los enviados a las víctimas, para determinar si su autoría coincidía.
La sociolingüística forense trata de determinar la autoría de un anónimo escrito con ayuda de teclado tales como correos electrónicos, mensajes, foros, etc.. También sirve para trazar el perfil del autor de un anónimo, sea manuscrito o mecanizado, investigando sobre su rango de edad, sexo, nivel cultural, profesión u origen entre otras características personales.
The January murder trial for three defendants in the so-called Facebook murders in Johnson County could be derailed if defense attorneys cannot locate a forensic linguistic expert by then to rebut a state expert.
There could also be a severance of one of those defendants, who wants a speedy trial and to whom the linguistic evidence does not apply.
The three — Jamie Curd, Jenelle Potter and Barbara Potter — is slated to begin Jan. 6. A fourth person, Marvin Potter, who is Barbara Potter’s husband and Janelle Potter’s father, has already been tried and convicted in the case. He’s serving a life sentence.
The other three were scheduled for a motion hearing Monday before Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood. The Potters and Curd are accused of killing Billy Payne Jr. 36, and Billie Jean Hayworth, 32, after a social media dispute between the couple and Jenelle Potter that ended in her being “defriended” on Facebook, prosecutors have said.
The murders happened in Johnson County, but the case was moved to Jonesborough due to pre-trial publicity.
Jenelle Potter’s father, Marvin Potter, and Curd, a friend of the Potters, are allegedly the two who actually killed Payne and Hayworth. Jenelle Potter’s mother, Barbara Potter, is also charged.
Prosecutors have not detailed what role the women played in the murders. After the women were indicted, Assistant District Attorney General Dennis Brooks only said investigators spent countless tedious hours obtaining email communications in order to charge them.
Brooks has previously said he has a forensic linguist who has reviewed the emails to determine who wrote them. He said the expert can look at a person’s known communications and then compare that to other communications and determine if that person wrote it.
It’s that report that defense attorneys — Randy Fallin for Barbara Potter and Cameron Hyder for Jenelle Potter — haven’t even seen yet, much less attempted to find an expert to review, that has the case in a quandary.
“It puts us in a bad spot,” Fallin told the judge.
Hyder said the defense has focused on a computer forensic expert who is looking at nearly 500 gigabytes of email data and trying to trace it to IP addresses. That would show from what computer the email originated.
“We have no idea how long it would take a linguistic expert to review,” or how long it would take to locate one, Hyder said. State prosecutors found their expert in Maryland, he said. Forensic linguistics is apparently an emerging field and there are few experts on the subject.
Attorney Casey Sears, who represents Curd, told Blackwood the linguistic report has no connection to his client, and Sears wants to go forward with the January trial. Sears said he will file a written motion to sever his client’s case from the Potter women.
Assistant District Attorney Dennis Brooks cautioned against that move, telling Blackwood that while the linguistic evidence does not apply to Curd, the other evidence would be repeated if there were two trials.
“If we tried Mr. Curd (alone) we are going over a lot of the same evidence as with the Potter ladies,” Brooks said. “To sever these defendants would be laborious for the court.”
For now, the January trial date stands, but Blackwood set a Dec. 9 hearing to determine the status of the issue. He will also hear a motion for a new trial in Marvin Potter’s case that day.
Curd, Barbara Potter and Jenelle Potter are all jailed while the case is pending. (FUENTE: JOHNSON CITY PRESS).