- Associated Press - Sunday, February 12, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Members of a grand jury investigating the fatal shooting of a man by a Lincoln police officer have been studying a 3-D reproduction of the scene using technology that attorneys and law enforcement believe will help all involved better understand what happened.

Before this technology was introduced, jurors typically relied on photos, satellite images and maps to place them at the scene.

“This takes all the guessing out of all of that, and everybody gets a common understanding of the area they’re looking at,” Attorney Joe Kelly said.

The Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2kYeeUx ) reports that the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office bought a 3-D scanner in 2015 to assist in crime and motor accident investigations

The scanner has a laser that can measure and record 20 million to 40 million points at a scene. Investigator Drew Bolzer said the scanner is so sensitive that it can even note the color of objects. Once the scene is scanned, data is uploaded into a 3-D printer that creates scale renderings of the scene. Bolzer said the scaled renderings are accurate to within 1/10,000th of an inch, or the thickness of a piece of paper.

Kelly said the renderings can help judges, jurors and attorneys familiarize themselves with the scene of the shooting.

Capt. Josh Clark showed the scanner’s renderings while testifying at the investigation into June 26 killing of Germichael Kennedy.

The scanner has yet to be tested at a criminal trial in Lincoln, but Kelly said he’s confident it will withstand any legal challenges.

“It’s like DNA (evidence) in that its uses - that 3-D use - were being utilized by many, many other professions other than trial attorneys long before we were using it in court,” he said.

The scanner is worth $80,000. Sheriff Terry Wagner said his office used forfeited assets to pay for the hardware and training in its use.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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