State police honor forensic scientist at Springfield ceremony
Mary Beth Thomas was named "Forensic Scientist of the Year" by the Illinois State Police at a recent awards ceremony at Hope Church in Springfield.
Thomas specializes in analyzing latent fingerprints. In 2015, she distinguished herself as the top casework-producing scientist in the statewide Latent Print section of the Rockford Forensic Science Laboratory while simultaneously assisting with a complex quality assurance project within the Forensic Sciences Command.
According to a press release, Thomas has an excellent reputation with law enforcement agencies, attorneys and judges, and is a dedicated employee who upholds the highest standards while consistently providing exceptional service to the ISP and the criminal justice community.
In January, Thomas testified in the Todd Smith murder trial in Rockford. Smith was on trial in his wife's murder with a baseball bat. Thomas testified that she tested the baseball bat that was recovered from Todd's home and that the bat tested positive for human blood. The blood was a match to Smith’s wife’s DNA profile, but prints on the bat were not a match for Smith’s. A jury later found Smith guilty; he was sentenced to 59 year years in prison.
The recent ceremony paid tribute to the acts of heroism and professionalism displayed by the honored men and women, which included Special Agent William Blackburn, who was named "Officer of the Year," and Telecommunicator Specialist Cheryl Miles, who was named "Telecommunicator of the Year."
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