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By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | August 3, 2005
Six years ago, the Baltimore Circuit Court judge who sentenced a college student to life in prison in a murder case that hinged on gunshot residue said he would set the man free if evidence was found showing he did not commit the crime. Tyrone Jones was back in court yesterday. Jones and a team of public defenders are arguing in a motion for a new trial that two particles of gunshot residue found on his left hand June 24, 1998, the evening of a fatal shooting in East Baltimore, could have come from the way the Baltimore Police Department collected the tiny scraps of evidence.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2012
Isaac Truss, his body shaking so much that the clinking of his shackles could be heard in the back of the courtroom, seemed unsure during his sentencing on two murders Wednesday whether he wanted to show remorse or try the case.  Having already pleaded guilty to killing two men in downtown Baltimore over the course of less than two days, Truss was now appearing before Circuit Court Judge Althea Handy for sentencing. But he started off the hearing by seeking to revoke his plea.  "I wanted to go to trial," he told Handy.
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NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | August 4, 2005
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge denied a motion yesterday for a new trial in the case of a city man who was convicted six years ago in a case that hinged on gunshot residue evidence that his attorneys say is unreliable. Judge John N. Prevas ruled that there was "no need to roll the clock back" in the case of Tyrone Jones, who had asked the judge for a second time to set aside his conviction for conspiracy to commit murder in a June 24, 1998, shooting in East Baltimore. The Jones case is among hundreds that a team of public defenders has been examining in an effort to find wrongful convictions from what they believe to be faulty gunshot residue evidence.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | May 25, 2010
Tyrone Jones walked out into the hazy sunshine Tuesday morning and let out a deep breath on the steps of the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse, his shoulders light for the first time in a dozen years. He had come to court prepared for trial on charges of conspiring to commit murder, only to be told he wouldn't be prosecuted. The case was dropped. "It took all but 10 seconds to undo something that's been going on for 12 years," Jones said, still shocked. He threw an arm around public defender, Michele Nethercott, who began representing him several years ago as part of Maryland's Innocence Project, which works to identify wrongful convictions and get them overturned.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | February 25, 2005
Days after a Baltimore circuit judge threw out gunshot residue evidence in his case, an Ednor Gardens man pleaded guilty yesterday to two weapons violations charges. During Michael Washington's daylong trial, prosecutors said he had shot himself in October 2003 and then claimed that someone else had fired a gun at him. Washington was charged with three weapons violations, including illegally possessing a gun because he had been barred from having a gun after a previous conviction. With a jury deadlocked for a day and a half on all but one of the charges - jurors did not disclose which one - Washington, 25, of the 4000 block of Wilsby Ave., accepted a state plea arrangement yesterday afternoon on the illegal gun possession charge and a charge of illegally transporting a handgun.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | March 5, 2005
Public defenders who say a Baltimore police analyst possibly misidentified gunshot residue 92 times in the past four years have begun a review to see how many city shooting and weapons cases may be affected. The findings, announced yesterday, come on the heels of a Circuit Court judge's ruling in one case that the Baltimore Police Department's only gunshot residue analyst, Joseph Harant, incorrectly labeled a two-element particle. Judge John C. Themelis said he believes the scientific consensus is that only three-element particles can conclusively be called gunshot residue.
NEWS
By STEPHANIE HANES and STEPHANIE HANES,SUN STAFF | January 23, 2005
Tyrone Jones looked like a success story. He had left his East Baltimore neighborhood to start college in Texas, he planned to marry his high school sweetheart. He had gotten out of town without a violent record. But on a hot summer evening in 1998, minutes after 15-year-old Tyree Wright was gunned down on the steps outside an East Federal Street rowhouse, Jones -- home on break -- was arrested and charged with murder. A jury later convicted him, sending him to like in prison. Two eyewitnesses connected Jones, then 21, to the shooting.
NEWS
By Marcia Myers and Marcia Myers,SUN STAFF | February 17, 1999
The defense case of Baltimore police Officer Edward T. Gorwell II was further bolstered yesterday with test results from a Pennsylvania laboratory, which confirmed the presence of gunshot residue on the hand of the teen-ager Gorwell shot and killed April 17, 1993.The results, which verified a police lab test last week, appeared to reinforce Gorwell's long-standing contention that he was returning fire when he shot 14-year-old Simmont "Sam" Thomas, though no gun was found at the scene."We have to look at how this would be viewed by a trier of fact," Deputy State's Attorney Sharon May said yesterday.
NEWS
By JULIE BYKOWICZ and JULIE BYKOWICZ,SUN REPORTER | May 26, 2006
The FBI is no longer analyzing gunshot residue in its investigations, a blow to once highly regarded evidence used to suggest that a suspected criminal had fired a weapon. Lawyers, scientists and law enforcement officials across the country said they were astonished by the decision and said it could mean the end of using such evidence. It also could become a weapon for defense attorneys in pending cases and in efforts to overturn convictions. "If the premier forensic science organization in the world isn't using gunshot residue, that certainly raises some questions about it," said Timothy S. Brooke of the American Society for Testing and Materials, which sets the policies used by many police crime labs, including Baltimore's.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | March 27, 2005
The Baltimore state's attorney's office said last week that it has found about half a dozen convictions in cases that may have involved the controversial identification of gunshot residue evidence. The preliminary review of shooting and weapons cases from the past five years came after a Circuit Court judge decided last month to exclude a two-element particle of gunshot residue evidence from a trial. He said a particle containing three elements -- lead, barium and antimony -- is required to meet the scientific community's threshold for establishing that a substance is gunshot residue.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | January 30, 2010
A 30-year-old Baltimore man convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced a decade ago to life in prison was granted a new trial Friday because potentially exculpatory evidence - a single-page police report - was not revealed during the original proceeding. Tyrone Jones was a college student home on summer break when he was charged with killing a 15-year-old boy in 1998. A jury acquitted him of the killing but found him guilty of conspiring to participate, based on a witness identification and the inexact science of analyzing gunshot residue, a particle of which was found on his hands.
NEWS
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,Sun reporter | November 5, 2007
Call it the CSI list: fingerprints, gunshot residue, ballistics, toxicology, bite patterns - the full rundown of forensic methods used by prosecutors to link defendants to crime scenes. Public perception and generations of prosecutors suggest that all of those forensic methods produce rock-solid scientific evidence against criminal defendants. And one by one, Patrick Kent, chief of the forensics division at the state public defender's office, is trying to destroy those certainties. Kent has enjoyed success by attacking the validity of gunshot residue and - just last month in a Baltimore County murder case - fingerprints.
NEWS
May 26, 2006
MARYLAND FBI drops gunshot residue The FBI is no longer analyzing gunshot residue in its investigations, a blow to once highly regarded evidence used to suggest that a suspected criminal had fired a weapon. pg 1a TODAY Balticon marks 40 years Sci-fi fans gather for the 40th anniversary of Balticon, a convention that's out of this world. pg 1c SPORTS Orioles gain series split The Orioles defeated the Seattle Mariners, 2-0, to salvage a split of their four-game series. Rodrigo Lopez combined with closer Chris Ray on the Orioles' first shutout since Sept.
NEWS
By JULIE BYKOWICZ and JULIE BYKOWICZ,SUN REPORTER | May 26, 2006
The FBI is no longer analyzing gunshot residue in its investigations, a blow to once highly regarded evidence used to suggest that a suspected criminal had fired a weapon. Lawyers, scientists and law enforcement officials across the country said they were astonished by the decision and said it could mean the end of using such evidence. It also could become a weapon for defense attorneys in pending cases and in efforts to overturn convictions. "If the premier forensic science organization in the world isn't using gunshot residue, that certainly raises some questions about it," said Timothy S. Brooke of the American Society for Testing and Materials, which sets the policies used by many police crime labs, including Baltimore's.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | August 4, 2005
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge denied a motion yesterday for a new trial in the case of a city man who was convicted six years ago in a case that hinged on gunshot residue evidence that his attorneys say is unreliable. Judge John N. Prevas ruled that there was "no need to roll the clock back" in the case of Tyrone Jones, who had asked the judge for a second time to set aside his conviction for conspiracy to commit murder in a June 24, 1998, shooting in East Baltimore. The Jones case is among hundreds that a team of public defenders has been examining in an effort to find wrongful convictions from what they believe to be faulty gunshot residue evidence.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | August 3, 2005
Six years ago, the Baltimore Circuit Court judge who sentenced a college student to life in prison in a murder case that hinged on gunshot residue said he would set the man free if evidence was found showing he did not commit the crime. Tyrone Jones was back in court yesterday. Jones and a team of public defenders are arguing in a motion for a new trial that two particles of gunshot residue found on his left hand June 24, 1998, the evening of a fatal shooting in East Baltimore, could have come from the way the Baltimore Police Department collected the tiny scraps of evidence.
NEWS
March 28, 2005
WHEN BALTIMORE police arrived at the apartment complex, they found Michael Washington with a bullet through his knee. He claimed that someone on the street had shot him. But police suspected Mr. Washington, a gun felon, had accidentally shot himself. They had his hands tested for gunshot residue. It was a routine step in a routine case that took a surprising turn. While Mr. Washington sat in jail, public defenders seized on his case to attack the credibility of the city police crime lab's method of identifying gunshot residue as evidence of a crime.
NEWS
By Sarah Koenig and Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF | October 26, 2001
After discovering possible contamination of tests to determine whether a suspect could have fired a gun, the Baltimore Police Department has changed its test policy and warned prosecutors that some of their cases could contain faulty evidence. The city state's attorney's office said this week that it has known of the problem with gunshot residue tests since late July but has not alerted all defense attorneys - notification the city public defender's office says should have come long ago. Neither the police, prosecutors nor defense attorneys know how many criminal cases have been affected by potential contamination, although they say the number is probably small.
NEWS
April 4, 2005
City convictions are tainted by police lab work The Sun's editorial on the issue of the gunshot residue testing regimen at the Baltimore Police Department's crime lab omits several salient facts and needlessly diminishes the significance of the systemic problems that exist ("Simply not staggering," editorial, March 28). To imply that it is acceptable to utilize any amount of "bad science" in a criminal case is simply indefensible. Whether one or 100 criminal convictions are tainted by the use of unreliable scientific evidence is not the appropriate question.
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