Document Type

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


March 20, 2000

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James Wentzel, expert testimony, autopsy photos, Richard Eberling, Marilyn Sheppard, blood stains, Dr. Owen Lovejoy, blood spatter, Ohio R. Evid. 702


Memorandum opinion in response to the State’s request that James Wentzel be permitted to testify as to the following conclusions about the crime scene photographs and experimentations: 1. Autopsy photos of Richard Eberling and Marilyn Sheppard are not suitable for reliable skin print analysis. 2. "Numerous blood stains can be located... on various items... believed to be in the home at the time of [Marilyn’s] death." 3. "Blood stains on Dr. Sheppard’s watch are consistent with high velocity bloodstains, which would entail being close to a blood source" at the time of Marilyn’s death. 4. The bloodstains on the pillow were from a bloody object--not a flashlight or smooth instrument--that was placed there at least an hour after Marilyn’s death.

The court permitted Wentzel to testify about numbers 1 and 2, but not 3 and 4. The State also requested that Dr. Owen Lovejoy be permitted to testify about his experiments by striking a replication of Marilyn Sheppard’s skull with different instruments, including a flashlight. The court permitted Dr. Lovejoy to discuss his experiments, but not the typical use of a “vintage flashlight” in the 1950s.