Fingerprints: Recent Cases

State v. Curtis M. Isom.
No. 2014-268-C.A.
2016 R.I. LEXIS 37

The Johnston police department responded to a home robbery call at the home of Antoinette Bryant in which the department took photographs and dusted for fingerprints from various areas of the bedroom and home as well as the window and Bryant’s jewelry box.  Fingerprints were also taken from Bryant and her daughter Imani. Photographs of the fingerprint evidence were sent to and analyzed by Edward Downing, Jr. at the State of Rhode Island Crime Laboratory. After ruling out the family, four prints were run through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) which produced the name Curtis M. Isom. As an expert witness, Downing testified that the prints from the scene and those from Isom in AFIS originated from a common source.

It was determined that Bryant knew Isom, and he was arrested and charged with breaking and entering, Downing explained how he compares known and latent prints during direct examination. Upon cross-examination, defense had numerous questions sustained, and it was admitted that Downing had used the AFIS prints for comparison as he had not received fresh prints from Isom after his arrest. Following a denial for judgment of acquittal, the jury returned a guilty verdict, and motion for a new trial was denied.,39

Forensic Summary by Gina Gallucci


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