Gunshot Residue Evidence Aids in Case with 75-Year Sentence

People of the State of Illinois v. Terry Rogers, No. 06 CR 9303 (April 27, 2016)
2016 IL App. (1st) 112816-U

In 2016, Terry Rogers was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2006 murder of Lyntrell Heath and was sentenced to 75 years in prison, including a 25 year firearm enhancement. The autopsy revealed that the cause of Heath’s death was found to be multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was homicide. Due to the presence of a firearm being discharged, gunshot residue (GSR) samples were collected from the defendant’s hands as well as the cuffs of a black jacket that was thought to be worn by the defendant at the time of the shooting. The results from the analysis of these samples showed that, while the defendant’s hands tested negative for GSR, the right cuff of the jacket did test positive for GSR. Given that wringing, rubbing, or washing of a person’s hands can dislodge GSR, it is not inconceivable to think that the defendant cleared his hands of GSR but the fibers of the jacket trapped the particles. This evidence, along with other witness testimonies, was sufficient for the court to convict the defendant of unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree murder. The defendant appealed the firearm enhancement charge based on his feeling that the court made a mistake by relying on improper evidence, but the charge was upheld.

2016 IL App (1st) 112816-U; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 819. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/17.

Forensic Summary by Kenneth Ujevich


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