For researchers of the Jeffrey MacDonald case: The murders of Colette, Kimberley and Kristen MacDonald


August 6, 1979
Charles Hoffman (ATF) at trial

MR. MURTAGH:  Your Honor, the Government calls Mr. C. Michael Hoffman.

(Whereupon, CHARLES MICHAEL HOFFMAN was called as a witness, duly sworn, and testified as follows:)

D I R E C T  E X A M I N A T I O N  3:02 p.m.

Q  Please state your name, sir, and spell it for the reporter.
A  Charles Michael Hoffman. That's H-o-f-f-m-a-n.
Q  Are you employed, sir?
A  Yes.
Q  And where are you employed?
A  In Washington, D.C. with the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Q  If I might ask you, what position do you hold at present with the ATF?
A  I am the Assistant Director for Technical and Scientific Services.
Q  And what are your duties, sir?
A  Basically, I am a manager of technical and scientific service functions, one of which is managing the ATF laboratory system.
Q  And what is your education, sir?
A  I have a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree in chemistry from the George Washington University which is in Washington.
Q  And when did you get that, sir?
A  I got the master's degree in 1968. Also, I have had some additional post-graduate courses in forensic science.
Q  Does George Washington University, if you know, sir, have a master's program in forensic sciences?
A  Yes, they do.
Q  So is it accurate to say that you are pursuing a second master's?
A  No, I was at the time.
Q  Let me ask you, sir, have you ever served as a forensic chemist with ATF?
A  Yes, I have.
Q  From when to when, sir?
A  Since October of 1964 until January of 1978.
Q  Okay, and what positions as a forensic scientist did you hold?
A  During the period of 1964 through about 1973, I was a senior forensic chemist with ATF. In the latter part of 1973, I was selected as chief of the laboratory.
Q  Okay. Then subsequent to that you became the Assistant Director; is that correct?
A  That is correct.
Q  All right. Mr. Hoffman, have you been qualified as an expert in the field of analytical chemistry in any federal or state courts?
A  Yes, several times.
Q  Okay. Did you ever appear in this court -- the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina?
A  Yes, as I recall, two or three times.
Q  Is that when the court was sitting in the old building?
A  Yes.
Q  Have you authored any publications, sir?
A  Yes, about 20 to 25, something like that.
Q  Okay, and in what fields generally were those publications?
A  Basically what would be termed forensic chemistry or forensic science.
Q  Any professional affiliations?
A  Yes.
Q  Would you tell us, please, what those are, sir?
A  The International Association for Identification, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, the Southern Association of Forensic Scientists.
Q  Are you familiar, sir, with a term called "neutron activation analysis"?
A  Yes, I am.
Q  Would you please tell us, sir, what that is?
A  Basically it is a method of chemical analysis, or more specifically, it is a method for determining the elemental composition of various materials.
Q  Okay, and how does it work, basically, sir?
A  Well, using very simple terms, a sample of the material to be examined is first made radioactive by placing it usually in the core of a nuclear reactor. The elements that make up that sample give up radiation which can be detected and having done this, it can be determined what elements make up the sample and how much of those elements are present.
     An analogy that is sometimes used to help people who are not totally familiar with the process understand it is that it is rather like turning on a series of radio stations and a sample of what each one of which broadcasts on its own frequency. The detection equipment is at least loosely analogous to a radio receiver that you can tune in and determine what stations are on the band.
Q  The stronger the signal given off, the more of the element present, so it permits us to do what is known as a quantitative and a qualitative analysis, not only identifying what is there but how much is there as well.
Q  With respect to how much is there, sir, how much of a sample do you need for analysis purposes?
A  The method is very, very sensitive so you don't need very much of the sample to work with. Again, to give you an idea of the sensitivity of the method, if someone has done a calculation that says if you had a thimbleful of arsenic and poured that in to ten railroad tank cars of water and thoroughly mixed these up, that you could detect the arsenic. So that is quite a sensitive technique.
Q  Okay, and what are the applications of neutron activation analysis other than in this case, to the field of criminalistics?
A  It can be used for many things, primarily examining almost any solid or liquid material, metals, plastics, adhesive tapes, soil samples, all sorts of things.
Q  Okay, now, Mr. Hoffman, directing your attention to 1971, at that time approximately how many cases had the ATF laboratory examined using one aspect or the other of neutron activation analysis?
A  About 3500.
Q  Thirty-five hundred?
A  About that; yes.
Q  Approximately how many samples, within those 3500 cases, if you know, sir?
A  Somewhere around 25,000 give or take a couple thousand.
Q  And that is as of 1971?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  Okay, and what percentage or proportion of those cases did you participate in, if you know, sir?
A  A substantial portion. It would be very difficult to say, perhaps 80 or 85 percent of the cases.

MR. MURTAGH:  Your Honor, at this time, we would offer Mr. Hoffman as an expert in the field of analytical chemistry and its application to neutron activation analysis.

THE COURT:  Very well.

MR. MURTAGH:  We offer him for cross-examination.

Q  Mr. Hoffman, at this time, I am going to show you Government Exhibit 134, which has been identified as three packages of Perry Pure Latex Disposable Surgeon's Gloves, size 8, which were removed from the area underneath the sink in the kitchen of the MacDonald household, and ask if you recognize that, sir?
A  Yes.
Q  Did you have occasion to take cuttings from those gloves, sir?
A  Yes, I did.
Q  And would it be accurate to say that those were known exemplars?
A  That is what is -- that's the term commonly applied, yes.
Q  Were the packages sealed, if you recall, at the time you received them?
A  I do not recall.
Q  Do you have any reason to recall they were not sealed?
A  No, I don't recall that either.
Q  Okay, let me show you Government Exhibit 106, which has been identified by Dr. Chamberlain as a piece of rubber he removed from the sheet, pile of bedding on the master bedroom floor, at the laboratory; as well as Government Exhibit 105, which has been identified as a finger-like section, piece of rubber glove, also removed from the sheet on the floor of the master bedroom, and ask you if you recognize those exhibits?
A  Yes.
Q  Let me also show you Government Exhibit 138, a piece of rubber which was found on the floor of the master bedroom near the dresser, and ask if you recognize that?
A  Yes, I do.
Q  Let me also show you Government 109, a piece of rubber which was collected from the floor of the master bedroom near the body of Colette MacDonald, and ask if you recognize that?
A  Yes.
Q  What examination did you conduct with respect to the packages of rubber gloves in relationship to the pieces of rubber which are in those vials?
A  I did two basic kinds of examinations. The first was a microscopic examination; the second was a neutron activation analysis.
Q  First, with respect to the microscopic examination, what did you observe, if anything, sir?
A  I observed that all of the specimens were microscopically indistinguishable. The thickness, the pliability, the general surface color and texture, all of the physical factors that could be observed under a microscope appeared to be the same.
Q  Now, would you tell us, please, about your neutron activation analysis of those exhibits?
A  Yes, some of the samples contained blood, and it was necessary to remove some of the blood from those that had blood smears on them. This was done with certain of the samples. Also, some of the bloody portions were also examined as they were received.
     The activation process was used, as I have mentioned, and all that is required is that the specimen be placed into a small plastic vial, numbered, sealed, placed into a larger plastic container, which is called a "rabbit."
     This is taken to the reactor, shot into the core of the reactor, retrieved after a sufficient period of time when the samples are radioactive, and then counted by a process I have previously described to determine what elements are present; and that was done in this case.
Q  Based on that examination, what were the results, sir?
A  The samples all had the same elements. Those elements were sodium, copper, zinc, and gold -- traces of gold -- in generally similar concentrations. This, of course, was corrected for weight of the sample.
Q  With reference to those elements that you just described, is that in addition to the composition of the items themselves?
A  Yes, it would be because these were the elements that would be incorporated into the latex or plastic material, so they would be what would be termed as trace constituents or trace elements.
Q  Now, let me ask you with respect to the known exemplars, that is the three packages of rubber gloves, what variation, if any, existed as to the trace elements in the known exemplars?
A  There was some slight variation between the three samples which represent the sample from each of the three packages contained in this item. But one must understand that in any analysis, you are going to have a certain natural variation in your results. This is rather typical in analytical work.
Q  Now, Mr. Hoffman, what conclusion, if any, did you draw from the results of your examination?
A  The conclusions that I drew, based on my findings and my microscopic observations, were that the samples had no significant differences and that they were consistent with products of the same manufacturer.
Q  When you say "significant differences," are you referring to the concentration of the trace elements?
A  Well, there was some variation there, as I have explained. When I say "significant," I mean that one, for example, didn't have an element such as chromium, that the others did not. They all had the same elements and generally similar concentrations.
     They looked the same; they had all the microscopic and visual characteristics, so there was a good deal of similarity between them.
Q  Now, sir, do you have an opinion based on the results of your examination, satisfactory to yourself, as to whether the questioned samples of rubber could have originated from the Perry Pure-Brand Latex Disposable Surgeon's Gloves?
A  Yes, I do.
Q  What is that opinion, sir?
A  It is that they could have been that brand, ergo, they could have originated from that source.

MR. MURTAGH:  That concludes direct examination, Your Honor. Counsel may cross-examine.

THE COURT:  Very well.

C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N  (3:10 p.m.)

Q  Mr. Hoffman, I believe you have indicated that you, at the time or by the time you did these examinations, had participated in 80 percent of the 3,500 cases, is that correct?
A  That was an estimate, yes, sir.
Q  So several thousand cases?
A  Well, 80 percent of 3,000 would be --
Q  (Interposing) A couple thousand?
A  -- couple thousand.
Q  Yes, sir. Did you do latex gloves in a lot of those tests?
A  No, I would have to say that I probably did a pretty limited number of latex gloves or other latex material.
Q  Mr. Hoffman, isn't it true that you have never done a latex glove until you did this test?
A  No, sir, I don't believe that is true.
Q  Do you remember doing some latex glove tests?
A  I remember doing plastic. I don't know if it was gloves per se, but plastics and latex materials.
Q  Had you done latex gloves, any tests on latex gloves?
A  I don't recall, sir.
Q  Now, Mr. Hoffman, do you remember specifically doing the test you have described in this case?
A  Yes.
Q  Were you relying on notes, or do you actually recall?
A  I have some notes and I also have recollection.
Q  Do you always remember specifically the tests that you do; for example, the 2,000 tests that you have done? Could you remember them specifically?
A  No.
Q  But you can recall this one?
A  Yes.
Q  No, the approach, I take it, in neutron activation analysis is to discover the elements that make up the material, is that correct? That is, to determine what elements make up the material?
A  That is a general and fair statement, I think.
Q  Now, I believe you indicated that you discovered four elements in these latex gloves; is that true?
A  Yes.
Q  And you did that by taking the exemplar samples and the evidence and placing the samples -- that is the exemplars and the evidence -- in a reactor?
A  Essentially, yes.
Q  How long do you leave samples like that in a reactor and does it make any difference how long you leave them?
A  Yes; it can. In this particular case, they were radiated for a period of four hours.
Q  What differences does it make? Suppose you had left the gloves in or the samples in for a shorter period of time than that?
A  Depending upon the elements present, some of these might be missed or were not detected because they hadn't been activated sufficiently.
Q  Would you ever leave the elements in the reactor longer than four hours?
A  Upon occasion that has been done. We have found, however, that four hours seems to be an optimum time -- a practical time -- for radiating specimens.
Q  Now, after you take the materials out of the reactor, you count something about them. What is it that you count?
A  You are counting or measuring or detecting the radiation that is given off from the now radioactive elements in the sample.
Q  All right. And I believe you have indicated that you found zinc?
A  Yes. Zinc was one of the elements.
Q  And you found copper; did you?
A  Yes.
Q  And you found gold?
A  Yes.
Q  And you found sodium?
A  Yes.
Q  Did you find anything else at all?
A  Well, normally manganese is found. And I'm sure there was a trace of that. But that isn't considered significant because it is almost ubiquitous. You find it everywhere.
Q  Wouldn't that be true also of sodium?
A  To some extent. It depends on the concentration of the sodium that is found.
Q  Yes. You find sodium, though, in many, many materials, wouldn't you?
A  Yes.
Q  Did you find anything -- any other elements other than the four that you have described?
A  No.
Q  For example, did you find any magnesium?
A  Magnesium? No.
Q  You are sure you did not?
A  I did not; no.
Q  And you would remember if you did; wouldn't you?
A  Yes.
Q  Wouldn't you have made a note about that if you had?
A  Yes.
Q  Did you find any aluminum?
A  No.
Q  You are sure you did not?
A  That is correct.
Q  And if you had found any aluminum, you would have made a note about that, I am sure.
A  Yes.
Q  And on any other elements you would have made a note about it; wouldn't you?
A  Yes.
Q  So, you didn't find any sulfur?
A  No.
Q  I believe you indicated you might have found some chlorine. Did you?
A  No, I didn't indicate that.
Q  Did you find any chlorine?
A  No; I did not.
Q  Did you find any calcium?
A  No.
Q  Did you find any silver?
A  No.
Q  And you indicated, I think, that you might have found some manganese?
A  Yes.
Q  But you are positive that you did not find any of those other elements that I have described?
A  That is correct.
Q  Now, Mr. Hoffman, wouldn't it be true that the more elements that you could find present in the exemplar that are also present in the evidence, the more certain you could be that they came from the same batch or the same manufacturer?
A  Well, I think that is a fair statement. Or if there are differences, you could be more certain in the exclusion.
Q  Yes, sir. And the fewer elements you find that are present in both the exemplar and the evidence, the less certain you can be that they could be traced to the same manufacturer? Wouldn't that be true?
A  I think that is a fair statement.
Q  Now, Mr. Hoffman, would it be true that four elements would be, comparatively speaking, a relatively small number of elements to find? That is, you would usually find more elements than that; wouldn't you?
A  Well, that is a difficult question to answer. It depends upon the type of material that you are talking about.
Q  Well, in the other cases in which you examined latex rubber, did you find more elements than four?
A  I don't recall.
Q  What is an isotope, Mr. Hoffman?
A  An isotope is a species of an element. For example, the element copper -- this can have what is known as isotopic forms: copper 63, copper 64, copper 66. In other words, it is variations of the same element.
Q  And how many isotopes or how many stable non-radioactive isotopes would you find in zinc, for example?
A  I don't know exactly. The commonly found ones would be zinc 69 metastable and zinc 65, if you are talking about activation analysis.
Q  But the truth of the matter, Mr. Hoffman, is that there are more than two stable non-radioactive isotopes in zinc; isn't that true?
A  Yes. I think that is true.
Q  Which of the isotopes of zinc did you find in these gloves?
A  The one that was measured was zinc 65.
Q  You found zinc 65? And which of copper?
A  Copper 64.
Q  Copper 64? Now, you have indicated you found four elements, and you have indicated also that you do not only a quantitative analysis, but a qualitative analysis. What quantities of these four elements did you find?
A  In the exemplar gloves -- the known gloves -- you wanted the copper?
Q  Yes, sir, please. Yes, sir.
A  Copper was about 11 parts per million.
Q  I didn't understand your answer.
A  11 parts --
Q  (Interposing) 11 parts per million?
A  Parts per million.
Q  And was that in the exemplar?
A  That was in the exemplar; yes.
Q  All right. Now, do you ever express that in any terms other than parts per million? Do you ever express that, for example, in KEV?
A  No. That is not a quantitative term. That is the energy of the radiation given off.
Q  Well, isn't that one way, though, you measure the amount of an element?
A  I don't understand your question.
Q  What other ways would you measure the amount of the element that is present in the samples? Do you always express it in ppm? That is my question.
A  It could be a percentage. It could be parts per thousand, parts per billion. It has to be some concentration with the -- ratioed out to the amount of material present.
Q  Yes, sir. What about, then, the concentration of copper in the evidence itself? You said 11 parts per million, I believe, in the exemplar?
A  About that, yes.
Q  Sir?
A  I say it was about that, yes.
Q  But I don't mean to get technical with you, Mr. Hoffman, but could you be more specific, then, about that?
A  Well, we are dealing with three samples.
Q  Yes, sir. All right.
A  All right. One sample was 11; one was nine, one was six.
Q  All right, sir. You got 11 parts per million in one, nine parts per million in another, and six parts per million; is that correct?
A  That is correct.
Q  Are you talking about the evidence itself -- that is, evidentiary samples?
A  I don't understand your question.
Q  What did you find 11, nine and six parts per million in? Exemplars or the evidence itself?
A  In this -- well, the label here says "Government I-25281(a) (b) and (c)."
Q  What is that you are looking at?
A  These are three batches of latex gloves.
Q  All right. And is that the material in which you found a concentration of 11, nine and six parts per million?
A  Yes; it is.
Q  Now, did you examine some small pieces of rubber gloves that were found in another part of the house?
A  Well, I examined some small pieces of rubber gloves.
Q  All right, sir. And what concentrations of copper did you find in those?
A  They ranged from 28 to 113 parts per million.
Q  Would you give us the same information with respect to zinc; that is, first describe the parts per million in zinc that you found in the exemplar?
A  Okay. In the exemplar material, there was 2120.
Q  All right, sir.
A  1570, 1810.
Q  All right. Would you give us the same information with respect to the evidence?
A  850, 605, 660, 640.
Q  Would you give us the same information now on the sodium and the gold; first with respect to the examplars and then the actual evidentiary sample?
A  120, 125, 110.
Q  Is it on your exemplars?
A  Yes, sir. That is what you asked for first.
Q  All right, sir.
A  420, 280, 2480, 1190.
Q  Thank you, sir. And the gold?
A  .003, .006, .020, .038, .032, .014, .020.
Q  Now, you indicate, I believe, in the written report that was prepared and signed by Mr. Crook, the compositional similarities between the samples -- and you described them -- are consistent with products of the same manufacturer. What do you mean by that?
A  That there is no significant differences either compositionally or that could be observed microscopically, as I have explained it before.
Q  Does that mean that they would be made in the same batch if they were made by the same manufacturer?
A  No, sir.
Q  Do you know how many manufacturers there are of rubber gloves?
A  I know there are several. I don't know exactly how many.
Q  Did you run any tests on any rubber gloves from other manufacturers?
A  In this particular case?
Q  Yes, sir?
A  No, sir.
Q  Do you ever remember running any tests on rubber gloves by other manufacturers about which you could give us information?
A  As I have indicated before, I have run latex or plastic materials. I don't recall that they were in the form of rubber gloves.
Q  Then you could not go so far as to say that these gloves would have been in the same batch?
A  No, sir.
Q  Is it your testimony really then that it is possible that these rubber gloves which were found under the sink were made by the same manufacturer?
A  That is --
Q  (Interposing) And as manufacturer of the gloves, pieces of which were found in other parts of the house?
A  That is what the report says.
Q  Yes. And you are dealing in terms of possible?
A  Yes.
Q  You are not really even dealing in terms of probable, are you, Mr. Hoffman?
A  No, sir.
Q  And when you say they possibly were made by the same manufacturer, the other side of that question also is that they possibly were not; isn't that true?
A  Certainly.

MR. SMITH:  All right. No further questions.

THE COURT:  Redirect?

MR. MURTAGH:  A few questions, Your Honor.

R E D I R E C T  E X A M I N A T I O N  3:34 p.m.

Q  Now, Mr. Hoffman, I believe that with respect to the three pairs of Perry Brand Pure Latex Surgeon's Disposable Gloves -- the examplars -- I believe on cross-examination you were asked about the various values that you found; is that correct, sir?
A  Yes.
Q  Were there differences as between one pair of Perry Pure-Brand Latex Surgeon's Disposable Gloves and the other?
A  Yes.
Q  Are those differences significant in your jargon?


THE COURT:  On the grounds that he has already testified to that?

MR. SMITH:  Yes, sir.

THE COURT:  He doesn't want you to do this one twice.

MR. MURTAGH:  Sorry, sir.

Q  With respect to the samples that you took from the exemplars, did you cut from one particular place on the glove?
A  Yes, as I recall.
Q  If you know, sir, and if you have an opinion satisfactory to yourself, would variations occur in different parts of the glove?
A  I would expect variations. But I did not sample multiple portions of the gloves. So, I don't know that to be fact. But it would be my belief and opinion that it would.

MR. SMITH:  OBJECTION. If he did not make any samples, Your Honor, we OBJECT.


MR. MURTAGH:  I am sorry, Your Honor. I don't think the witness finished his answer.

THE COURT:  Let me start over.

THE WITNESS:  It would be my opinion that you would find variations. In examining plastics, glasses, things that I have examined that are produced in large sheets, for example, you find a variation from point to point. That is to be expected.

Q  Is it accurate to say, sir, that the concentration will vary from one part of an object to another?
A  That is typically the case; yes.
Q  Now, Mr. Hoffman, with respect to the questioned pieces of rubber that you examined, would it be accurate to say those are relatively small pieces of rubber?
A  Yes.
Q  Do you have an opinion, sir, satisfactory to yourself, as to whether the variations between the known surgical gloves and the questioned surgical gloves would be accounted for by the relative size of the sample you were working with?
A  Yes. I have an opinion. I don't believe that that would account for that type of variation.
Q  Maybe my question, sir, is: would the concentrations be different in different parts -- if you had the whole rubber glove instead of just a piece of it? Would the concentrations be the same throughout the rubber glove, or might there be variations?
A  I think I understand your question. If your question is that if I took a single glove from each package and I examined the glove in toto, you would find much less variation than you would by simply cutting out little chunks of the glove and then comparing these little chunks from each of the three gloves. And that is because the differences -- compositional differences -- would tend to average out.
Q  Mr. Hoffman, this analysis was done in 1971; is that correct?
A  That is right.
Q  Now, since 1971, has the instrument methodology or the equipment that you used -- that you can use now -- is it more refined now than it was then?
A  Oh, considerably.
Q  Is it able to detect -- let's say this: is it able to detect smaller portions of elements now as opposed to then?
A  It is able to detect lesser quantities. But I think more importantly from an analytical standpoint, it is able to detect a broader range, and greater number of elements than was possible in 1971.
Q  Mr. Hoffman, let me ask you: after these samples were subjected to bombardment and you analyzed them, would those samples be capable of picking up additional elements subject to your analysis? Do you understand my question, sir?
A  No, sir, I don't.
Q  In other words, I believe one of the objects that you have there has a tag on it, does it not, sir? It says, "Warning, may cause cancer"?

MR. SMITH:  Your Honor, we OBJECT to this entire line of questioning. It is not redirect.

THE COURT:  Well, I will OVERRULE an objection to a line of questions.

MR. SMITH:  We OBJECT to this question.

THE COURT:  Ask your question again.

MR. MURTAGH:  All right.

Q  Mr. Hoffman, I show you Government Exhibit 105, and I would ask you to take a look at the tag on that. Would you take a look also, sir, at the portion of rubber remaining in the larger vial?
A  Yes.
Q  With respect to the color of that object, sir, is that the same color as when you saw it in 1971?




Q  Is it discolored, in fact, sir?
A  Yes. It is discolored.
Q  Are you familiar with the chemical process called ninhydrim?
A  Yes.
Q  Do you know what that is used for, sir?



THE WITNESS:  In forensic work, it is usually used to recover latent fingerprints from various materials -- paper or other type of surfaces.

Q  Sir, do you know whether that particular piece of rubber was examined using the ninhydrin process subsequent to your examination in 1971? Do you have any knowledge of that, sir?
A  Not to my knowledge. I don't know one way or the other.
Q  Let me ask you, sir: if it had been examined using ninhydrin chemical, would the neutron activation analysis, if any were done subsequent to that examination, reflect those additional chemicals?
A  It certainly could.

MR. MURTAGH:  Your Honor, that completes redirect.

MR. SMITH:  Two questions if I may, Your Honor.

THE COURT:  All right, sir.

R E C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N  3:42 p.m.

Q  Mr. Hoffman, you indicated that there is now new equipment for handling this kind of evaluation and experimentation. What kind of equipment is it that is new?
A  Basically the detector system. When this examination was done in 1971, a detector known as a sodium iodide detector was used. In recent years, what is known as a lithium drifter germanium detector has been developed. It has much higher resolution and sensitivity. Also --
Q  (Interposing) Is that equipment available to you? I am sorry.
A  Also the associated electronics and just the general technology of the analytical equipment as well.
Q  Is the new equipment available to you?
A  Yes.
Q  Would you take --

THE COURT:  (Interposing) That is three.

Q  -- the position that the new equipment is more --

THE COURT:  (Interposing) That is three.

MR. SMITH:  One more, Your Honor, if I may.

Q  It is more reliable now than the equipment you had available to you in 1970 and '71?
A  I think reliable is a word I would have trouble with.
Q  Is it more sensitive?
A  Sensitive, I think; technically improved.

MR. SMITH:  One last question, Your Honor. This is all, Your Honor, on new information that was developed.

THE COURT:  I know what it is. We are just glad that you didn't have four questions.

MR. SMITH:  It would turn into eight then, Your Honor.

Q  One last question, Mr. Hoffman: did you weigh the samples before you tested them?
A  Yes, sir.
Q  Doesn't that help to remove the possibility that you get higher concentrations because you use larger samples or smaller samples?
A  No. I don't see that that has a bearing. The weighing process has nothing to do with that.
Q  The weighing process does not relate in any way to adjustments you may make to get -- to make sure you get the right reading?
A  You are not asking me the same question, sir.

THE COURT:  This is his last question. That is the reason you didn't recognize it.

Q  Tell us why you would weigh the samples. Perhaps that is the best way to ask it.
     And that is my last one, Your Honor.
A  If you have a small sample and you determine that there is so much of some material in a sample, the only way that an analytical chemist can express that is as a percentage or a part per million, or there is so much of this per given weight of this material.

THE COURT:  Take a recess until 4:00 o'clock. Don't talk about the case.

(The proceeding was recessed at 3:45 p.m., to reconvene at 4:00 p.m., this same day.)