What's in a stain? Analysis to be argued Friday in Casey Anthony case

By Jacqueline Fell, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In the Case Against Casey, all eyes will continue to focus on the science at this week's Frye Hearing.

Just Wednesday, more transcripts of depositions were filed. One of the four added in the court file is of Dr. Madhavi Martin from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Dr. Martin explained LIBS -- Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. She said it's a technique that uses lasers to generate specific elements that are present in the sample.

She describes it as making a fingerprint.

This technique has been around since the 1960s.

Martin said she has published 37 articles, spoken at local, national, and international conferences, and is an accepted leader in environmental research.

She was asked by Dr. Arpad Vass to see if she could find magnesium, calcium, sodium, or iron while analyzes carpet from inside Anthony's car.

This type of analysis to determine elements for decomposition has never been introduced in court before.

Anthony's defense team is fighting to keep it out.

During Martin's deposition, she said she helped solve a murder case.

In 2004, Moises Mendoza murdered Rachel O'Neil Tolleson.

Law enforcement in Texas used wood analysis to link Mendoza to the murder.

Martin used LIBS for her analysis. When Mendoza was confronted, he confessed.

Martin is listed along with Vass and Dr. Marcus Bain Wise as assisting in the analysis of air samples taken from Anthony's trunk.