CROWN POINT | A local doctor's testimony at a murder trial is credited with helping Wisconsin officials place a suspect at the scene of the crime.
Dr. Michael Nirenberg testified this week during the trial of Travis L. Petersen, who was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, according to court records. Petersen, 44, was sentenced to life in prison.
Petersen was convicted of killing Robert J. Kasun, 50, in March 2013 inside a motel room in Mt. Morris, Wis., according to court records.
Nirenberg said he prepared a presentation to explain to the jury how he compared a footprint left at the crime scene with footprints taken by officials of Petersen.
He examined the measurements of the footprints, paying close attention to the shape of the toes. Nirenberg said the footprints showed the second and third toe had a dark ridge pattern, which was out of the norm for typical toe prints.
"This would make his footprints individual to him," Nirenberg said.
Waushara County District Attorney Scott Blader said Nirenberg was one of about 30 people who testified during the four-day trial.
"His testimony did provide important evidence that the defendant was at the crime scene," Blader said.
Nirenberg regularly works at Friendly Foot Care in Crown Point. He has assisted law enforcement officials across the country by analyzing footprints, though this was the first time he testified during a jury trial.
"It was a good experience," he said. "It really makes me think when I'm looking at people's feet and watching people walk in the office."