The Orlando Sentinel reports that Zeigler’s lawyers, arguing for more DNA testing, asked the court for a continuance of the scheduled February 3rd hearing. A former forensic expert is no longer available.
“The new expert, Timothy Palmbach, works with blood spatter evidence an does forensic analysis work. But Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton, another veteran of this case, expressed concerns about the defense team “switching experts. I don’t want any expert shopping going on here,” Ashton said. Ashton also noted that the Justice Administrative Commission, which provides funds for indigent defendants like Zeigler, was not notified about the defense team’s wishes.
Ultimately, Orange Circuit Judge Reginald Whitehead decided to continue next week’s hearing on the DNA testing arguments and let the JAC offer its opinions on the appointment of the new expert. Whitehead reserved ruling on the approval of funding for the expert until the new hearing with the JAC present is held. No date has been set yet for that hearing. After that proceeding, the evidentiary hearing on the DNA testing will be scheduled.” More information about the William Thomas Zeigler case can be found here.
The Penn State’s Forensic Science Program, in an exclusive collaboration with DCC and the Zeigler legal defense team, has started to work the Zeigler case into their course program.
The students will be examining all evidence, trial transcripts, autopsy reports, time lines, and crime scene photographs. They will then be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both parties in this complex case.
It will be a unique opportunity for the students to re-evaluate the crime scene for themselves with modern technology and to draw their own conclusions.