CCTV Is Key Evidence in Abduction Case

The prosecution in Florida v. Joseph P. Smith first introduced the videotape as its last piece of evidence Monday afternoon, thus sending the jury home with fresh visual memories of it.

FBI forensics-video expert George R. Skaluba talked to the jury as he pointed to each large frame on a white board propped up on an easel.

Smith watched the presentation as the man in the blown-up frames, who was unwittingly videotaped outside the car wash on Feb. 1, 2004, became larger and larger. In the videotape, the apparent abductor was a small person in a large field of vision. In the enlarged frames referred to by the FBI agent, the man who grabbed Carlie's arm was large, dominating the frame.

Smith went to the second day of court well dressed in a gray suit, white shirt and conservatively striped tie. He sat upright at the defense table between his two state-appointed lawyers.

He, along with the jury, looked at the images from the car wash on Bee Ridge Road - a station wagon circulating in the area, the man approaching Carlie. And Smith, along with the jury, heard the FBI expert testify about how to watch the images, how to look at the shoes, the name tag, how to watch "areas of interest" in the tape. Camera 5's tape showed the station wagon. Camera 3 picked up the abduction.

In the cross examination Smith's defense attorney, Adam Tebrugge, suggested video can be manipulated, that such evidence is not reliable.

(c) 2005 Associated Press