Judge sets hearing for infrared expert to testify

DALLAS - The judge deciding Branch Davidians' wrongful death lawsuit against the government said Friday he has changed his mind and will order a court-appointed expert to testify on whether FBI agents shot at the Waco compound the day it burned.

An advisory jury determined last month that the government was not responsible for the deaths of some 80 Davidians in the 1993 raid, but Judge Walter Smith has yet to make a final ruling in the case.

Smith had barred from the trial a study of infrared images taken by an FBI surveillance camera on the final day of the 51-day standoff, saying he wanted court-appointed expert David Oxlee to review the study's findings before admitting it into court.

The British firm Vector Data Systems Ltd., which conducted the study, concluded flashes on the tape were reflections from sunlight, not gunfire as Davidian survivors and family members of those killed had claimed.

Smith on Friday set a Sept. 18 hearing for Oxlee to testify about the findings.

Smith had originally decided against requiring Oxlee to come from England to testify after plaintiff's attorney Michael Caddell said he wouldn't participate in the hearing.

Plaintiff's co-council Ramsey Clark is now scheduled to question Oxlee at the hearing, Smith said Friday.

Caddell could not immediately be reached for comment by The Associated Press.

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On the Net:

Special Council report: http://www.osc-waco.org

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