During this hour-long broadcast, we’ll follow a case from the search warrant to the courtroom to see what that evidence goes through.  See how chemists test the sample to determine what it is.  Find out how technology saves time.  See what the lab can and can’t do, and learn the limitations of what the evidence can prove in court.  Learn how to help the lab help you make your case.

Learning Objectives:

  • See what happens to evidence once it arrives at the lab
  • Discover why evidence often looks different when it leaves the lab then when it arrived
  • Learn how chemists in the lab document their findings and protect the integrity of the evidence
  • See why all this is important to your case if it goes to court

Originally Aired: December 14, 2006


Tim Holsinger

Special Agent, Kansas Bureau of Investigation

Tim Holsinger is currently assigned to the Special Operations Division of the Wichita Regional Office of the KBI. Holsinger spent his first 13 years with the Labette County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas working as a patrol officer, K-9 officer, criminal investigations detective, training officer, and narcotics detective. In November 1999, Holsinger joined the Kansas Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent. Since that time, he has investigated narcotics cases and served as a member of the high-risk warrant team and as training instructor. He received the Silver Valor Award from the Kansas Chiefs of Police Association for life-saving actions in 2000.

Reta Newman

Director, Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory, Pinellas County, Florida

Reta Newman has been a forensic chemist since 1988 and has been an instructor for the National Forensic Science Technology Center since 1996. Newman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Southwest Missouri State University. She has been qualified as an expert in both controlled substance analysis and fire debris analysis. She is co-author of the book The GC-MS Guide to Ignitable Liquids and has published numerous articles related to forensic science. Newman is also a fellow of the American Board of Criminalistics and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Robert O’Neill

Assistant United States Attorney in Tampa, FL

Robert O’Neill began his prosecutorial career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in 1982. He became an Assistant United States Attorney in Miami, FL in 1986, and an Associate Independent Counsel in Washington, DC in 1992. In 1993, O’Neill became an Assistant United States Attorney in Tampa, FL. He has also served as an Associate Independent Counsel in San Francisco, CA, and as the Deputy Chief of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the United States Department of Justice. Mr. O’Neill is a graduate of Fordham University and New York Law School.