Legal analyst answers questions on alleged evidence tampering

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With both sides of the Patrick Kane case at odds over alleged evidence tampering, News 4’s legal analyst is giving an outsider’s perspective on the developments.

Terry Connors says there’s no question that from time to time, issues can arise with the chain of custody and the collection of evidence, but not in a case of this magnitude.

Connors says that if the evidence has in fact been compromised it cannot be admitted. “If the evidence has been compromised, then it cannot be admitted,” Conners says. He explains that both the defense and the prosecution can argue that they are affected by the tampering.

However, it would not mean the case is over.

“The case definitely can still go forward because it’s not predicated solely on this particular evidence,” he says. “Keep in mind, the basic claim involves a statement made by someone as to what happened. There are witnesses who will talk about it.”

Still, Connors cautions that it’s not a small snag either.

“In a situation where everyone these days looks for forensic evidence, the absence of this evidence could seriously undermine this case.”

Once further investigation is conducted, the ramifications could stretch beyond Kane and his accuser. Connors says it could draw into question the quality of evidence collection and preservation in Erie County.

Meanwhile, the Central Police Services released a statement saying, “All evidence related to this case that was given to Erie County Central Police Services by the Town of Hamburg Police Department is accounted for and remains in its original packaging.”

 

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