Most of Troy Schnack’s forensic examinations for cases taken by the U.S. Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Missouri are about mitigation rather than whether the client is guilty—how much evidence of a crime exists, which can affect sentencing guidelines.
In one recent case, however, the evidence that appeared to tell one story was only part of a much deeper story. Using Magnet AXIOM, Schnack determined that the defendant’s claims of innocence were valid—and who should be the investigation’s real focus.
How AXIOM Promoted Thorough, Efficient Due Diligence
A law enforcement sting operation had netted a suspect in the possession and distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Their forensic examination on the suspect’s computer had turned up both images, and the Ares peer-to-peer (P2P) software used to distribute them.
However, police had focused only on the desktop and laptop computers found in the homeowner’s bedroom. Part of Schnack’s due diligence was to check each of the other 8 seized computers, as well as the four mobile device images police had obtained.
AXIOM showed that the Ares executable had also been downloaded and run on a different computer prior to being installed on the defendant’s system. Jump lists indicated that the defendant had used the computer for 17 months without ever viewing, much less sharing, CSAM. And AXIOM’s Relative Time Filter showed the dates and times of other relevant activity showing that in spite of the preponderance of evidence pointing to the defendant, his roommate should have been the suspect.
Download the Case Study to Find Out More
In our extended case study, “How Magnet AXIOM Helped Save an Innocent Man from Federal Prison,” find out how Schnack:
- Used forensic images of both the roommate’s computer and mobile device to demonstrate CSAM-related activity on his part versus the defendant’s.
- Leveraged unique features such as the ability to parse jump lists and add multiple images to a single case file to aggregate artifacts, then used Relative Time Filtering to establish a new timeline with a more accurate picture of what happened.
- Provided the defense team with new lines of inquiry with which to deepen their case for the client—and put the spotlight on the correct suspect.
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