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May 24

Technology played crucial role in recent murder conviction

Posted on May 24, 2015 at 1:13 am by Clay Curtin

A few years ago, the police department purchased new technology to assist with diagramming collision and crime scenes. The Total Station is a wireless digital measuring tool that takes measurements from horizontal and vertical plains. This machine played a vital role in the conviction of Marjorie Reitzell, charged with second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, and a myriad other charges resulting from the collision where she struck and killed Balbir and Kamal Singh while driving intoxicated.

The measurements give a realistic depiction of the scene at the time. This coupled with photographs can give the jury an accurate account of the area, where evidence was located and distances of travel. It accurately draws the roadway configuration, including road signs, electric poles, and vegetation into the final sketch. In this particular case, the jury was able to see the location of the collision, where the pedestrians were found after being struck, and the many evidentiary items located at the scene. A juror sent an email to Chief Jonsen complimenting everyone who worked on this case. He said, “Your department did an excellent job in documenting every detail that was physically possible and investigating this case thoroughly. This made our decision not only comfortable, but with 100 percent certainty, the right decision.” The police department is thankful to have these tools available during major investigations.