At the Lake: New program could help DA
March 15, 2007
It’s easy to miss the man punching another man inside 7-Eleven since the surveillance video looks like it’s on a permanent fast forward.
With a new $30,000 computer program, El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe was able to slow down the footage, clean it up and see a man in a white T-shirt smack a man in the face.
The equipment also allows authorities to clean up surveillance photos of bank robbers, sharpen audio tapes and zoom in on suspects or important details of a photo or video. It allows images from multiple cameras, say at a grocery store or casino, to be presented on one computer screen.
“The one thing you cannot do is manipulate it,” Uthe said. “It was designed for use by law enforcement.”
Cleaning up images is important for a jury or identifying suspects, persons of interest, witnesses or victims of a crime. Since audio recorders used in drug buys can be impacted by wind, the rustling of clothes or other problems, increasing the quality is important.
“I just don’t want people to think it’s magic, but it’s worth every bit,” Uthe said.
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Then you have people who take pictures or videos from their cameras or other sources that could be useful in building a case, Uthe said.
“It’s just an aspect of technological progress that we need to address,” Uthe said.
The equipment is available through Ocean Systems.
Abby Kingman went 2 for 3 with a triple, double and three RBI and Austyn Harrington pitched a complete game as the Whittell softball team beat Coleville 18-5 in five innings in a nonleague game on Wednesday in Coleville.
The Warriors were tied with the Wolves 5-5 in the second inning before the scoring four runs in the third inning and never looking back.
Harrington, who walked only one batter, retired the side in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Tara Humbird went 2 for 3, while Megan Esquivel, Heather Esquivel and Sarah Ehrlar each recorded a hit. Coleville pitchers walked 11 Whittell batters and hit seven others.
“That made it easy, but we did a lot of work on (aggressive) baserunning,” said first-year WHS coach Rich Barna. “Coleville just wasn’t ready for all the running we were doing. We really turned up that part of our game.”
Whittell (3-2) plays in the Smith Valley tournament on Friday and Saturday, with two games scheduled for each day.
Although the final score didn’t reflect it, the Whittell High School baseball team was in a tight ballgame on Wednesday in Coleville.
But the Coleville Wolves scored nine runs in the sixth inning to pull away for an 11-1 nonleague victory over the Warriors.
Whittell starting pitcher Jordan Morgan and reliever R.J. Gardner kept the Warriors close by allowing three hits in their five innings of collective work.
Coleville, however, broke it open in the sixth by stringing together seven straight hits and two hit batsmen.
Morgan allowed two hits and fanned four in three innings, while Gardner gave up one hit while working the fourth and fifth innings.
Whittell had chances to claim the lead in the first four innings but stranded nine runners.
In addition to Morgan and Gardner’s pitching, Whittell coach Don Amaral was pleased with the play of freshman shortstop Cody Nelson. Nelson made plays on all of the balls hit to him.
The Warriors return to the diamond on Friday to play Virginia City in the Smith Valley tournament, then will test their stamina on Saturday with a tripleheader of games against Smith Valley, Tonopah and Silver Stage.