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Sirens & Gavels

Audio experts to testify at Steele trial

A forensic audio examiner with the FBI and a private forensic consultant are expected to be called as prosecution witnesses at Edgar Steele's trial.

David Snyder works for the FBI in Quantico, Va., and has reviewed reports by defense experts regarding the authenticity of audio recordings that reportedly show Steele discussing a plot to murder his wife with hitman-turned FBI informant Larry Fairfax. 

Snyder has been conducting tests on the records and the cording device to rebut defense claims that the recordings are manufactured.

His supervisor, Kenneth Marr, who reviewed and approved Snyder's work, is also listed as a witness in case Snyder can't travel to the trial, which is scheduled to begin with jury selection April 26 in Boise.

Dr. Gina Richardson, of Arlington, Va., also reviewed the recording and prepared transcripts.

"She determined the recordings are true and valid representations of the words spoken by the parties to the conversation," according court documents filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court. "Her unique expertise may be represented to rebut any claims of Dr. George Papcun or Dennis Walsh that the recordings do not represent a true and valid representation of reality or that they do not accurately reflect the sounds and conversations that actually occurred."

Richardson, who earned a doctorate in linguistics from Georgetown University, has been a forensic consultant since 1989.

Steele was to undergo a mental health examination last week in Boise at the request of prosecutors.

His wife, Cyndi Steele, said he will not be presenting an insanity defense, rather, Steele's lawyers will argue that he was under the influence of medication and could have been easily influenced and manipulated by Fairfax.

Those expected to testify for the defense include Daryl James Hollingsworth, a Bonner County Jail inmate who recently pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

Hollingsworth may have had contact with Steele and/or Fairfax while in jail.

Read past coverage here.

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