RJ Lee Group Expert Mr. Alfred Schwoeble Testifies on Gunshot Residue in Maryland Murder Trial


The Washington Post reported that Mr. Alfred “Skip” Schwoeble, Consulting Scientist for RJ Lee Group laboratory in Monroeville, Pa. and gunshot residue expert, testified about the results of gunshot residue testing that was conducted for the trial of former Army ranger Gary Smith.  Mr. Smith is charged with the murder of his roommate Michael McQueen and is being retried after the Maryland Court of Appeals threw out a prior conviction.  Mr. Schwoeble explained that gunshot residue comes from the primer that ignites gun powder, and that after a firearm is discharged, it leaves behind a “lot of particulate.”  Using a video, Mr. Schwoeble demonstrated the “plume” of material that is expelled when a .38 revolver is fired.  He testified that by using scanning electron microscopy, he found gunshot residue in samples from both the defendant’s and the victim’s hands.  He then explained that he found fewer particles on Mr. Smith’s hands than he did the victim’s, and that he could not determine who the shooter was.  The trial continues in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

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