HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Of the 80 cases the Mississippi
Innocence Project is reviewing for potential forensic fraud, at
least two are Forrest County and involve the testimonies of two
controversial forensic experts.
The two capital murder cases ended in the convictions of Stephen
Elliott Powers and Larry Matthew Puckett.
W. Tucker Carrington, director of the Mississippi Innocence
Project, says his office is investigating the cases because both
involved testimony for a pathologist and a coroner under fire for
their work and credentials.
Those men are the state's former primary forensic pathologist -
Dr. Steven Hayne - and Michael West, a Hattiesburg-based dentist,
who was coroner of Forrest County at the time of the trials.
Both also testified in two Noxubee County trials that ended in
the wrongful convictions of two men in separate child murders.
Hayne performed the autopsies in the cases and West testified
that bite marks on the victims were made by the men.
The two men, Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks, were released from
prison earlier this year after DNA testing and a confession from
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)