CLE on Forensic Science: From CSI to Mental Health


Mercer Law School will host a CLE on Friday, August 28 on “Forensic Science: From CSI to Mental Health.” The 6-credit hour CLE will cover Crime Scene Investigations, Latent Fingerprints, Digital Crime, Gang Investigations, and Mental Health by noted experts from across the state. Participants can register online at Early bird registration is $120 through August 14. After August 15, registration is $150.

For additional information, please contact Natalie Sundeen at or 478-301-2204.


 8:30 – 9:00 Welcome 
 9:00 – 9:45 Crime Scene Investigations
Lee Johnson, CSI USACIL 
 9:45 – 10:30 Latent Fingerprints
Nicola Charles, CLPE 
10:30 – 11:15  DNA
Karelle Ancrum, GBI
11:15 – 12:00  Digital Crime
Lisa Maxwell, Thomasville Police Department
12:00 – 12:30  LUNCH (provided)
12:30 – 1:15 Gang Investigations

Lt. Charles B. Whitaker, Bibb County Sheriff's Office

1:15 – 2:00 Mental Health and How it Affects Criminal Activity

Cheryl Milton, Macon-Bibb Office of the Circuit Public Defender

2:00 Closing 


Karelle P. Ancrum is a native New Yorker.  She graduated in 2006 from HBCU Oakwood University, in Huntsville, Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. In 2008, she went on to receive her Master of Science in Forensic Science, with a concentration in Biology, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In the summer of 2008, she began work at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; Division of Forensic Sciences, also known has the State Crime lab, as a Crime Lab Scientist Trainee.  She underwent a year-long training, a joint effort between the GBI and the National Forensic Science Training Center (NFSTC) in Largo, Florida, to become a Forensic DNA Analyst.  After a couple years of DNA casework analysis, she trained at the State Crime lab in Serology, making her a Forensic Biologist. 

Nicola Charles graduated John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a BA in Government, where she also studied Forensic Science. She worked at Gwinnett County Police Department at a Crime Scene Investigator from 2002 to 2010. She started as a CSI I and was promoted to CSI III, Instructor, Acting Supervisor, Field Training Officer and Latent Print Examiner. Nicola then worked for Six3 Systems from 2010 to 2013, before starting law school. She worked as an Instructor where she earned her Army Instructor Certification. In this capacity, she trained soldiers to conduct combat scene investigations, photography, and fingerprint recovery. Nicola was then promoted to work in the Remote Examination cell (REX). She then deployed to Iraq where she worked as a fingerprint analyst in the Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell (CEXC) working with the Department of Defense. Shortly thereafter, she was promoted to lab manager and shut down the CEXC lab in 2012 when she returned home after Operation Enduring Freedom. She earned her certification as a latent print examiner while deployed in Iraq. Nicola then deployed to Afghanistan where she worked as a Certified Latent Print Examiner (CLPE) with the Defense Intelligence Agency. Nicola is now a 3L at Mercer University School of Law and will graduate in May 2016. She hopes to combine her Forensic Science knowledge with her law degree. 

Lee Johnson currently works as a Physical Science Technician with the United States Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL). In the past, she has worked in forensics and crime scene investigation as a Forensic Technologist and Crime Scene Investigator. Johnson received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Science from Savannah State College in 1994 and received her Master of Forensic Science degree from National University in 1999. She has an extensive list of specialized training to include, Forensic Epidemiology and Understanding Cyber Crime and Digital Forensics and also holds awards such as Investigator of the Year from the DeKalb County Police Department. Johnson holds three professional membership positions with the International Crime Scene Investigators Association, the Georgia International Association for Identification, and the International Association for Identification. 

Lisa Maxwell is a detective with the Thomasville Police Department. Maxwell received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Thomas University in 1998. She holds many certifications such as Crime Scene Technician and Field Training Officer. Maxwell holds three professional memberships with the Georgia International Association for Identification, the United States Secret Service Computer Crime Task Force, and Deputized U.S. Marshal. She has an extensive background in crime scene investigation.

Cheryl Milton earned her BS from Ohio State University in 1976, her MBA in 1978 from Northwestern University Graduate School of Management, and her JD from Northwest University School of Law. Over her career, she has earned numerous professional certifications including a Real Estate license, certification as a Public Accountant, and being admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1984. For many years, she had her own law practice specializing in criminal law, real estate, and domestic relations. From 1989 to 1997, she was an Assistant District Attorney in the Oconee Judicial Circuit.  From 1998-1999, she was an adjunct professor, before she became an assistant professor, at Fort Valley State University in the Department of Behavioral Science. From 2004 to 2006, she was the Chief Assistant Public Defender in the Cordele Circuit. Currently, she is the Chief Assistant Public Defender, Mental Health Division, at the Office of the Circuit Public Defender in Macon. 

SGT. Charles B. Whitaker is a P.O.S.T. Certified Law Enforcement Officer for the City of Macon. He has been in this role for 24 years and is currently the supervisor of the Gang Unit for Macon Police Department. Whitaker has been working with gang related crimes since 1996 and has been used as a gang expert. He also serves as the Vice President for the Georgia Gang Association (GGIA) for the Central Region of Georgia. He has had numerous classes on all aspects of gangs and attended numerous conferences dealing with new Gang Laws. He has taught classes and spoken at forums on Gang Awareness throughout the State of Georgia, and he is trained in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of criminal street gangs through P.O.S.T. mandated classes. He is familiar with criminal street gangs' dynamics, such as membership, territories in Macon, affiliate gangs, hybrid gangs, gang customs, and rival gangs.