Thursday, March 1, 2012

Expert Explains Tower Triangulation Cellphone Records Showed White Living at Ex-Wife's House and Not the Condo; Investigators Baffled Why Expert Was Not Called by Defense

WISH-TV's Karen Hensel tonight breaks the story that Charlie White had an expert witness lined up to explain that cell phone tower triangulation records showed White was not living at the condo as claimed by the prosecution, the key fact which led to White being convicted of multiple felonies:

Charlie White
[White} has two experienced private investigators questioning why cell phone records were never used as evidence. They said they hold the evidence to prove White never should have been convicted on the six felony counts in his voter fraud trial.

Investigators take issue with expert witness

Tim Wilcox of International Investigators LLC has been an investigator for 42 years. Wilcox believes White did not get a fair trial.
"The jury was not given the evidence that could change their minds,” he said. “His attorney decided not to present the key witnesses, and we had the key witness."
That key witness, Wilcox said, is Ryan Harmon, a former Indiana State Police officer who once worked on the public corruption section as a detective and retired after being investigated in connection with a hit-and-run accident. He is now a private investigator.
"Their State Police investigator had no knowledge in cell phone tower triangulation," Wilcox said, noting that Harmon does.
Harmon explained why cell records could have changed opinions on White’s residency: "The cell records are not just a day and time. We have longitude and latitude of the towers. We have different azimuth laid out."
Why was evidence left out?
In the 24-Hour News 8 exclusive interview, White explained why the cell phone records were not used in his defense.
"We felt (prosecutors) didn't meet the burden, so lets not put on a case,” he said. “If you don't meet your burden, the defendant doesn't have to bring any evidence."
He now says that was a mistake.
The case against White centers around this: He used his ex-wife's address, where he used to live, instead of a condo he shared with his then-fiance, on his voter registration form. Prosecutors said it's because he didn't want to give up his Fishers Town Council salary after moving out of the district he was elected to represent. White and the two private investigators said it's because he was never actually living in the condo.
That's where the cell phone records come in. Nearly two years of phone calls - 30,000 records. Harmon conducted a specific technique called triangulation to analyze them.
"During a six-month period, I looked at every night where the last call was made and the first call in  the morning," Harmon said, because the last call made was most likely where White stayed all night.
"48 percent of the time over a six-month period, this phone was on tower 74,” Harmon said. “Tower 74 is the tower in question where the condo is located." 
Harmon then looked at the stats just during the work week, assuming White stayed at the condo to see the then-fiance on weekends. Cell records show the percentage of time he spent there dropped dramatically during the week.
"12 percent of the time in a six-month time, Monday through Friday, on that tower. Back it down to a Sunday-Thursday work week, and it is 9 percent,” Harmon said. “It doesn’t fit. He was not living at the condo. He was visiting the condo."
Harmon said the cell phone records show White only stayed there nine nights in more than three months.
"Let's look at the date when the felonious acts took place on May 4, 2010, when Mr. White committed this felony by voting,” Harmon said. “96 days leading up to May 4, there was only nine nights in 96 days one could logically conclude he stayed at the condominium. Out of 96 days. To me, that is beyond a reasonable doubt."
Then, when White got remarried, 16 days after voting, on May 20, Harmon said: "The records tripled on tower 74. He is living at the condo now. He is married." 
White said his attorneys thought the state had not met their burden of proof, and thought the jury would end up on their side without all of this cell phone testimony. While supporting his attorneys’ work, he now regrets the decision, admitting the jury is not made up of attorneys.
To see the rest of the article, click here.

That is a pretty remarkable expert witness to leave on the bench in a trial when a defendant, an elected official no less, is charged with seven felonies.  I have trouble understanding the tunnel vision which must have played a role in two attorneys (White and Brizzi) convincing themselves that the jury would take a legalistic instead of lay approach to the evidence, and that no defense to the allegations needed to be provided by White to the jury.


marksmall2001 said...

1) Tim Wilcox knows what he is doing.
2) The decision not to put on ANY evidence "because we didn't think the State had made its case" is silly. At the close of the State's case, outside presence of the jury (of course)counsel for White should have moved for a directed verdict. If it had been denied, THEN put on this evidence.
3) Now there is no record for direct appeal, unless White fires present counsel, moves the Court of Appeals for leave to file a David/Hatton petition, claims ineffective assistance of trial counsel, and enters the new evidence on the record.

varangianguard said...

Obviously, nobody is claiming that either are "good" attorneys...

I'm amazed either actually passed the Indiana Bar. Hmmmmm.

patriot paul said...

This was a miscarriage of Defense. The attorneys should have been fired. At least 1 juror has already spoken out that had a defense been offered, it would have inserted doubt about the charge, and we would not be having this discussion. Sad day for attornys.

Cato said...

As a logical matter, if a jury would or may have found differently if the defense would have presented a case, the prosecution didn't satisfy its burden of proof, and a trial has become little more than a popularity contest for attorneys.

Southsider said...

A homeless person could have stood up and said the defense rests.

artfuggins said...

That only proves where the cell phone was used. It does not prove where anyone lived or even who was using the cellphone.

Downtown Indy said...

By blowing off the defense strategy can we surmise Brizzi's heart wasn't in it?