Document Type

Davis v. State of Ohio, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Case No. CV96-312322


March 1, 2000

Box Number


Item Number



Dr. Mohammed Tahir, DNA evidence, blood stain, Ohio R. Evid. 901, expert testimony, Ohio R. Evid. 702, Richard Eberling, motion in limine, defendant's filings


In this motion, the State sought to exclude the testimony of Dr. Mohammed Tahir. The State expected Dr. Tahir to provide expert testimony as to the DNA of the blood stain on the wardrobe door, the wood chip from the basement, and a blood stain on the porch. The State argued that Dr. Tahir could not authenticate the exhibit purported to be a wood chip from a basement riser, nor the exhibit claimed to be a stain from the wardrobe door as required by Rule 901 of the Ohio Rules of Evidence, and thus the exhibits should not be admitted into evidence. Rule 901 requires any evidence to be sufficiently identified, and a chain of custody established for it to be admitted. The State argued that the exhibits in question appeared first in the 1966 trial, but that neither the Estate, nor Dr. Tahir, can account for the exhibits whereabouts for the last 34 years. The State also argued that Dr. Tahir’s opinion testimony as to the trousers, door stain, wood chip, and porch stain fail to meet the reasonable scientific certainty required by Rule 702 of the Ohio Rules of Evidence. The State argues because Dr. Tahir did not say at deposition that the blood was Richard Eberling’s, and other test results were inconclusive, he “has no opinion to a reasonable scientific certainty, as to what donors . . . may be included or excluded.”