United States v. Fama
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Judge William Kuntz
Fama and co-defendant Mannino were indicted on charges of bank robbery violating 18 USC §2113(a) and (d), and using and carrying a firearm in violation of 18 USC §924(c)(1)(A)(ii) in connection with an armed robbery of a Capital One Bank branch in Brooklyn in 2011. The government anticipated calling lay witnesses employed by cell phone providers T-Mobile and Metro PCS so as to introduce business records pertaining to phones used by Fama and Mannino on the night of the robbery. The government also sought to call expert witness Orellano to testify about radio frequency engineering and cell site analysis as a means of determining the approximate location of cell phones. The court denied Fama's motion in limine to preclude admission of cell tower evidence. The testimony the government sought to elicit from the T-Mobile and Metro PCS employees with respect to cell phone records and cell tower sites was based on personal knowledge and thus constituted lay opinion testimony, such that a Daubert hearing was unnecessary. In denying dismissal of Orellano's expert testimony, the court found his testimony sufficiently relevant and reliable under Daubert.
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