Agency Case Number 13070817

Laboratory Case Number 13L1908

Glass Evidence Questions:

Why did the lead investigator with the Casper Police Dept instructed the Trace Unit Leader, Wyoming Crime Lab not to analyze Baldwins shirt for glass? It was stated in a communication from the lab to the investigator on 10/17/2013 that "victim was laying in glass"....

5.) "Glass - on victim - not examined due to the fact that the victim was laying in glass. I indicated that our laboratory would not be able to determine how the glass was broken based on fragments found on the victim. I suggested that perhaps the medical examiner could assess the appearance and distribution of the abrasions on the victim."

The photos at the scene, and witness report where Baldwin collapsed suggest a different scenario. Last but not least the "1/2 coffee cup of glass" that Blonigen produced at trial also suggests lack of glass. Broken cubed glass was found nearly (4) feet from Baldwins left foot as the photos show. The glass is in the exact location where the States Re-creation Team indicates Baldwin was shot by Knospler but did not collapse.

We are referring here to micron sized glass and dust that may or may not be seen with the naked eye, not cubed diced sized glass such as is dispersed inside Knospler's vehicle. Micron sized particles, are produced by a bullet piercing auto glass. Micron sized glass on Baldwins shirt accumulated from the out going bullet and pressure wave and on Knospler's jacket, accumulated from a reflected pressure wave inside the vehicle, only present if the shot was fired through the glass window. FBI .45 ACP Ballistic Test

Was a complete glass analysis over looked accidentally, by the investigating officer and by the Wyoming Crime Lab?

Carver Testimony On Glass, Begining on Page 690 12/17/2014

Carver. Yes. I did take a sample of the skin, cutting in perpendicular to the surface of the skin, going out, you know, a thin slice of the tissue, so I get the surface of the skin surrounding the entrance and also get the disrupted subcutaneous tissue, too. And I put that on a slide and looked at that.

Blonigen. And how far around the wound are we talking about?

Carver. I don't have the slide in front of me. It's unlikely to be more than two centimeters.

Blonigen. So it's what's very close to the entry wound, then?

Carver. Correct.

Blonigen. And did you do any microscopic studies of the sample you collected?

Carver. I then looked at the slide under the microscope.

Blonigen. What did you find?

Carver. On the surface of the skin surrounding the entrance wound, within -- the skin is not just a perfectly smooth surface. It has lots of little folds in its surface. There were very minute glass fragments, not many of them, but glass fragments were deposited on the surface of the skin. Also, in the underlying fatty and connective tissue, which is a lot of collagen that's below the protective surface of the skin, of course there was hemorrhage from it being disrupted by the bullet. Also, there were two spots of what I called amorphous black particulate, two small spots of something that looked like it could possibly be soot, too, but not enough to make me think it was a contact wound.

Blonigen. Because a contact wound, you have a lot of that; you just had one or two scattered particles?

Carver. You know, in my initial report, I used the word sparse. And I think that is actually overstating it because I had to look hard again when I reviewed the slides just a few days ago to find two specks. So they are there, but even calling it sparse seems overstating it. I would call it -- I think the word rare is more accurate.

Blonigen. Okay. When you're looking at these -- this glass through the -- on the slide, what do you see? I mean, what becomes apparent on the microscope slide as to the character or nature of these fragments? Color, for instance?

Carver. The glass fragments are just very irregular little shards that I'm not -- I'm not used to seeing on the surface of the skin. The black particulate is just a -- it's a minute, lumpy, bumpy fragment of black material.

Blonigen. And the glass, does it appear almost a blue-green color?

(More Carver Page 700 12/17/2014)

Blonigen. Now, when we're talking glass, though, what size of fragments are we talking about?

Carver. These would be fragments that I believe would be -- I mean, think of glass being polarized or thinking of 600 grit sandpaper, even finer than that. Very, very, very fine fragments.

One might ask with all these professional opinions flying about, why there was "600 grit Glass" surrounding the wound and Casper Police Dept instructed the crime lab not to test for glass on the shirt. Wouldn't one test the shirt for traces of 600 grit sandpaper? Would not a experienced pathologist with over 2500 autopsy's performed take the next step and test the "refractile" material for Silicon Dioxide the main component of glass? Would not a experienced Pathologist test the "subcutaneous tissues" and determine what the "sparse particles" were composed of prior to testimony? If there is "glass around the wound defect". A reasonable person could conclude that there would be 600 grit glass impregnated in Baldwins eyes, nose mouth, hair and of course the shirt. If Knospler shot through the tempered glass side window as the State has accused him of. None was found during autopsy with the exception of Carver's statement in testimony.

Did the "600 grit" glass come from a gun shot (Carver) or "laying in the parking lot" all night? (Casper Police Detective Ellis), or is the "600 grit" refractile material actually dried blood plasma and not glass at all? If Carver's slide is still in existence, lets contract a lab and test for Silicon Dioxide to substantiate Carver's testimony. Something the Prosecution nor the defense found important enough to do. "Refractile material consistent with glass" was mentioned in Carver's original autopsy report. page 8. Over a year later "refractial" is gone he is testifying that it is glass!

The Wyoming Crime Lab has the qualified expertise and state of the art equipment to investigate the presents of Silica Dioxide the main component of glass. There is a huge difference between cubed dice sized tempered glass fragments and the micron sized particles of glass seen in the high speed gun shot video produced in the FBI lab.

Nighthawk Questions :

Knospler's Night Hawk was received by the Wyoming Crime Lab on 10/16/2013 and analyzed by lab personnel.

"The Nighthawk pistol (item 13) was examined and found to be in mechanical operating condition with the safety features functioning properly. At no time during testing did the firearm misfeed, jam, or stovepipe."

Why did the lab not attempt to recreate the stove pipe condition that Knospler's weapon was found in?

The Night Hawk stove pipe was never recreated for trial and explained away by prosecution . The stove pipe anomaly may be an integral part of this case. Several factors can contribute to a stove pipe condition.

1. Limp wrist condition. (states claim at trial)

2. Weak ammo.

3. Barrel slide interference.

The crime lab tested the gun with ammo remaining in the magazine and found the weapon functioned properly. The lab decided no further tests were required and the issue has been ignored, until now.

Two theory's of the stove pipe condition are considered.

Baldwin, intoxicated, smashes the side window and forcibly enters the dimly lit vehicle up to his shoulders, through the broken window, unaware that Knospler is armed. Knospler maintains that Baldwin says he is taking the car and is going to kill Knospler. Knospler grabs his pistol and thrusts it at the advancing intruder, making first contact with Baldwin at the point of bullet entry and shoots.

1.In the ensuing struggle Baldwin grabs at, and holds the gun preventing the slide from completing its normal operating cycle, resulting in stove pipe.

2. With the muzzle against Baldwin at the point of bullet entry, and the barrel's direction guided by the path of the bullet through Baldwin, places Baldwin's throat and chin on top of the slide of Knospler's gun. When the gun is fired, the rather substantial recoil force, drives the slide backwards and lifts the muzzle upwards forceing the front sight blade firmly against Baldwin throat and chin, leavig a laceration under the chin as the slide is driven backward, as evidenced in the photos from the autopsy. The recoil energy lost, as the slide was rubbing against the throat and cutting the chin, prevents the slide from completing the cycle, resulting in stove pipe.

It makes no difference whether Baldwin grabbed the gun or not, since either scenario puts BALDWIN IN KNOSPLER'S CAR!

Observing the autopsy photo of the entrance wound and the impression of what appears to be an outline of the Night Hawk muzzle. From this point forward we will refer to the impression as "muzzle stamp" one may ask the question. How would "muzzle stamp" end up on Baldwins shirt if he was out side the vehicle, on the other side of the tempered glass window when Knospler shot?

Fact is it could not happen. The only way Baldwins shirt could receive this type of "muzzle stamp" would be from a 'contact wound'. The "muzzle stamp" puts BALDWIN IN KNOSPLER'S CAR!

The state's "Bullet Wipe" with a complex symetrical geometry at equal distances from the periphery of the defect is in conflict with the two images of bullet wipe below, left and center. Where the wipe is a blackened concentric ring surrounding the bullet hole. The center image being Knospler's Night Hawk test bed from a lab photo shot at a distance of 6".

During trial the Crime lab testified that the darkened portion surrounding the periphery of the bullet hole on the WASHED OUT SHIRT below right, presented at trial was "bullet wipe".

Test Pattern Questions :

The Wyoming Crime Lab also performed distance related test patterns. Four shots were taken, a contact, 6", 18", 24" ....Observing the Contact shot one could see the shape similarities between this and the "muzzle stamp" noted at Autopsy. The tearing of the fabric is a result of the hard surface behind the test bed....not so with the autopsy photo, contact shot was reported as a angle shot. If one was to compare the red dye marker of the test bed to the autopsy photo impression a strong resemblance would be concluded. Did the Crime lab personnel not observe the unique muzzle impression of its test, its resemblance to the autopsy "muzzle stamp" impression, and the Nighthawks unique design of the muzzle?

The investigating detective took over 20 pictures of this particular view of the "muzzle stamp" on Baldwin's shirt at autopsy, what did the investigator see and decided to record that the rest of the prosecuting team missed or ignored?

"Using the Nighthawk pistol (item 13) and the submitted unfired cartridges (item 14) test patterns were produced at various muzzle-to-target distances. Substantial lead and/or gunpowder residue patterns were deposited at distances out to at least twenty four (24) inches. Therefore, the T-Shirt was likely struck from a distance greater than twenty four (24 inches) assuming no intervening object was present."

All the shots the Crime Lab tested was perpendicular shots to the test bed. The Coroner reports an oblong hole, an angled shot. Why did the Crime Lab not perform angled shots on their test cloth and attempt an exact recreation of the "muzzle stamp" on Baldwins shirt photoed at the time of autopsy?


We would like the Office of the Wyoming Attorney General to direct the Wyoming Crime lab to execute a comprehensive review of the evidence they received in this case.


Knospler Defense Fund

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