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Ballistics? Pfft… The Eastman Inquiry

By Diggety - 4 February 2014 52

After a laborious resistance by poo covered parties on both sides trying to delay or deny this inquiry, here’s a bit:

An international ballistics expert has contradicted key evidence that a silencer was used in the 1989 murder of the ACT’s police chief [Colin Winchester].

Suppression orders on new ballistics evidence at the inquiry into the murder conviction of David Harold Eastman have been lifted, despite lawyers for the original forensic investigator Robert Collins Barnes trying to have evidence against their client left out of the inquiry.
ABC News

Some of those ‘conspiracy nutters’ buzzing around the RiotACT may have had a point after all.

What’s Your opinion?


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52 Responses to
Ballistics? Pfft… The Eastman Inquiry
A_Cog 2:53 pm 06 Feb 14

Still not getting it.

Can someone please explain the importance of this development IN PLAIN AND SIMPLE ENGLISH???

Nylex_Clock 9:24 am 06 Feb 14

Diggety said :

LSWCHP said :

There’s no way that a person 120 to 140 yards from the gun would hear a suppressed .22, assuming the use of subsonic ammunition which is the only sensible ammo to use with a suppressor. Even without a suppressor, .22 subsonics from a normal length barrel aren’t much louder than a very loud handclap, but the intensity of the report increases as the barrel is shortened. If someone heard the shots from that distance then the “no suppressor, short barrel” case is the only one that makes any sense to me, so I’m with Dr Wallace.

So, wasn’t this submitted testimony a key component of Eastman’s guilt?

I think ensuring Eastman behaved like a maniac was the key component of prosecution efforts to get the jury to decide on his “guilt”.

Diggety 3:37 am 06 Feb 14

LSWCHP said :

There’s no way that a person 120 to 140 yards from the gun would hear a suppressed .22, assuming the use of subsonic ammunition which is the only sensible ammo to use with a suppressor. Even without a suppressor, .22 subsonics from a normal length barrel aren’t much louder than a very loud handclap, but the intensity of the report increases as the barrel is shortened. If someone heard the shots from that distance then the “no suppressor, short barrel” case is the only one that makes any sense to me, so I’m with Dr Wallace.

So, wasn’t this submitted testimony a key component of Eastman’s guilt?

Aeek 11:29 pm 05 Feb 14

I remember reading of Mr Barnes being discredited in his home state, Victoria. Something about his tendency to testify what the prosecution wanted.

I really hope the Federals end up paying for this mess, if it ends up being some sort of criminal conspiracy. Why should the ACT taxpayers pay for internal AFP games.

LSWCHP 6:34 pm 05 Feb 14

Diggety said :

Addendum:

Transcripts reveal Dr Wallace has contradicted Mr Barnes reports saying the evidence shows no silencer was used, and the weapon was most likely a sawn-off gun.

“If you assumed that a person between 120 and 140 metres away heard what he recognised as two shots, but at that distance, if the projectile had not become supersonic, does that suggest to you that there is unlikely to have been the use of a silencer?” asked Eastman’s lawyer Mark Griffin.

“It would be extremely unlikely, yes,” Dr Wallace said.

“If a person in the next house to the driveway of Mr Winchester’s car heard two sounds… like the sound of stones or pebbles being thrown on the roof or against the windows, would hearing such sounds inside a house within 20 to 30 metres of the shots be consistent or inconsistent with the use of a silencer?” asked Mr Griffin.

“It would be inconsistent,” Dr Wallace said.

Mr Griffin then asked Dr Wallace “Is it your view that the number of particles recovered from inside the car is more likely to have resulted from the use of a shortened rifle barrel than the use of a normal length… rifle barrel?”

“Yes, I cannot be 100 per cent certain of this but, yes, that would be my theory,” Dr Wallace said. [ABC News]

Apologies, I should have included that in the original article.

There’s no way that a person 120 to 140 yards from the gun would hear a suppressed .22, assuming the use of subsonic ammunition which is the only sensible ammo to use with a suppressor. Even without a suppressor, .22 subsonics from a normal length barrel aren’t much louder than a very loud handclap, but the intensity of the report increases as the barrel is shortened. If someone heard the shots from that distance then the “no suppressor, short barrel” case is the only one that makes any sense to me, so I’m with Dr Wallace.

Diggety 4:00 pm 05 Feb 14

Addendum:

Transcripts reveal Dr Wallace has contradicted Mr Barnes reports saying the evidence shows no silencer was used, and the weapon was most likely a sawn-off gun.

“If you assumed that a person between 120 and 140 metres away heard what he recognised as two shots, but at that distance, if the projectile had not become supersonic, does that suggest to you that there is unlikely to have been the use of a silencer?” asked Eastman’s lawyer Mark Griffin.

“It would be extremely unlikely, yes,” Dr Wallace said.

“If a person in the next house to the driveway of Mr Winchester’s car heard two sounds… like the sound of stones or pebbles being thrown on the roof or against the windows, would hearing such sounds inside a house within 20 to 30 metres of the shots be consistent or inconsistent with the use of a silencer?” asked Mr Griffin.

“It would be inconsistent,” Dr Wallace said.

Mr Griffin then asked Dr Wallace “Is it your view that the number of particles recovered from inside the car is more likely to have resulted from the use of a shortened rifle barrel than the use of a normal length… rifle barrel?”

“Yes, I cannot be 100 per cent certain of this but, yes, that would be my theory,” Dr Wallace said. [ABC News]

Apologies, I should have included that in the original article.

neanderthalsis 3:36 pm 05 Feb 14

Nylex_Clock said :

Grimm said :

bundah said :

From a ballistics markings context would a silencer change anything?

No.
If the projectile is marked by the suppressor, that means it is coming into contact with the baffles. That would be a pretty serious problem, generally resulting in the suppressor flying off or coming apart and becoming a projectile of its own. The projectile also exits ahead of any gasses captured by the suppressor, so that wouldn’t even leave any markings.

I would be very interested to hear how the conclusion that a suppressor was used was ever made. Very, very interested.

I think the police had to write off the purported gunshots heard by a witness as this didn’t fit in with their version of events, hence the need to assert a silencer was used.
Not as dodgy as the “witness” who saw Eastman “buying the rifle”, but all part of the general dodginess of the “Eastman did it” scenario.

Perhaps the silencer story came form the type of sound described by the witness who heard the shot. My understanding is that a 22lr rifle was used; a 22 does not make the load crack of a higher powered centrefire rifle and may have just made a “pop”, especially if subsonic ammo was used.

Nylex_Clock 2:30 pm 05 Feb 14

Antagonist said :

If the evidence I gave as an ‘expert’ was completely wrong or being contradicted by another ‘expert’, ….

…then you would want to compare the relative credibility of the two “experts”.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/crucial-evidence-used-in-eastman-trial-came-from-expert-sacked-in-victoria-20121106-28wod.html

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/forensic-expert-contradicts-key-evidence-used-in-case-against-david-eastman-20140203-31wlv.html

bundah 2:30 pm 05 Feb 14

astrojax said :

bundah said :

From a ballistics markings context would a silencer change anything?

it’d be a little quieter..?

I’m tempted to make Winchester puns but that would be in poor taste…

Nylex_Clock 2:21 pm 05 Feb 14

Grimm said :

bundah said :

From a ballistics markings context would a silencer change anything?

No.
If the projectile is marked by the suppressor, that means it is coming into contact with the baffles. That would be a pretty serious problem, generally resulting in the suppressor flying off or coming apart and becoming a projectile of its own. The projectile also exits ahead of any gasses captured by the suppressor, so that wouldn’t even leave any markings.

I would be very interested to hear how the conclusion that a suppressor was used was ever made. Very, very interested.

I think the police had to write off the purported gunshots heard by a witness as this didn’t fit in with their version of events, hence the need to assert a silencer was used.
Not as dodgy as the “witness” who saw Eastman “buying the rifle”, but all part of the general dodginess of the “Eastman did it” scenario.

astrojax 12:20 pm 05 Feb 14

bundah said :

From a ballistics markings context would a silencer change anything?

it’d be a little quieter..?

Grimm 11:37 am 05 Feb 14

bundah said :

From a ballistics markings context would a silencer change anything?

No.
If the projectile is marked by the suppressor, that means it is coming into contact with the baffles. That would be a pretty serious problem, generally resulting in the suppressor flying off or coming apart and becoming a projectile of its own. The projectile also exits ahead of any gasses captured by the suppressor, so that wouldn’t even leave any markings.

I would be very interested to hear how the conclusion that a suppressor was used was ever made. Very, very interested.

bundah 10:28 am 05 Feb 14

From a ballistics markings context would a silencer change anything?

Nylex_Clock 4:37 pm 04 Feb 14

“evidence against their client”, being the “expert witness”? Suppression orders? What was going on, exactly?

Antagonist 4:08 pm 04 Feb 14

“Transcripts reveal Dr Wallace has contradicted Mr Barnes reports saying the evidence shows no silencer was used, and the weapon was most likely a sawn-off gun.”

If the evidence I gave as an ‘expert’ was completely wrong or being contradicted by another ‘expert’, I would want it suppressed as well. It might just amount to reasonable doubt!

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