Mysterious issue delays testimony in Danielle Allen trial

Judge Robert Wiggins, who is overseeing the manslaughter trial of Danielle Allen, is sending the jury away for a few hours with little explanation why. (WHAM photo)

Geneseo, N.Y. (WHAM) - The judge overseeing the manslaughter trial of Danielle Allen sent the jury away for a few hours Thursday morning with little explanation why.

As testimony was beginning to wrap up Wednesday, a juror told courtroom deputies that he needed to speak with Judge Robert Wiggins. Yet that juror returned to court this morning and the issue did not appear to be part of the delay.

Allen is accused of stabbing her boyfriend Marcus Postell to death with a kitchen knife on November 21, 2016.

On Thursday morning, Judge Wiggins indicated that he needed to do legal research about the matter. The attorneys have been briefed, along with the family of Marcus Postell, but nothing has been put on the record. Just over two hours later, it was learned that the District Attorneys had received a report earlier in the morning regarding evidence taken to the Monroe County Crime Lab. Law requires prosecutors to turn over all evidence to the defense in a timely manner.

It is unclear whether the legal research involved this issue. However, when court resumed District Attorney Greg McCaffrey had a copy of the new evidence and handed it to defense attorney Joe Daniels. Further details were not made public.

Later Thursday afternoon, the jury was taken to the crime scene without ever leaving the courtroom. The Niagara County Sheriff's Department has been using 3-D laser scans to photograph crime scenes for some time, and in 2016 provided the technology and expertise for this case.

Deputies utilized a Faro 330 forensic scanner, a box-like device that eight-by-eight inches square, and a foot tall. Inside, a laser bounces off a spinning mirror measuring the distance to every surface it hits, plotting millions of points at a time. A digital camera snaps high resolution photos, and software combines the photos into a 3-D composite.

Danielle Allen is charged with manslaughter. She lives in a 700-square-foot apartment. Through this imaging, jurors were able to get a sense of the tight space and the graphic aftermath of a bloody and violent scene.

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