Kyle K. Heyen has always qualified as an expert witness in cases involving the use, deployment and training of law enforcement canine teams. Mr. Heyen has served as an expert consultant or expert witness in all manner of cases involving dogs, including civilian dog bites, law enforcement canine team conduct, training, use of force, wage and hour disputes, K-9 policy, and canine deployment analysis.
Mr. Heyen is adept at reviewing, assimilating and analyzing information across a broad spectrum of sources, and he has a superb ability to communicate his detailed opinions both in writing and verbally.
In Campbell v. City of Springboro, Ohio, 788 F. Supp.2d 637, 661-663 (S.D. Ohio 2011), Mr. Heyen's expert report was submitted in opposition to a summary judgment motion. The Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio found Mr. Heyen's opinions helpful to the trier of fact, as well as factoring into the Court's analysis of the factual and legal issues presented at the summary judgment phase of the proceeding:
"In reviewing the evidence in this case, it has become apparent to the Court that while Heyen's opinions factor into the Court's analysis of the factual and legal issues presented at summary judgment, D'Amico's do not. [p. 661] * * *
Applying these standards, the Court finds that Heyen possesses specialized knowledge regarding the training and use of police canines and that his knowledge will assist jurors in evaluating the issues presented in this case. The record at summary judgment indicates that Heyen has extensive experience concerning the training and use of dogs in police work. [citation omitted]. Heyen was the founder and president of Detector Dogs International, Inc., a company that selected and trained dogs and their handlers for all aspects of canine law enforcement...
In addition to finding Heyen qualified as an expert in the area of canine training and use, the Court also finds that the opinions offered by Heyen . . . are sufficiently supported by the record for the purposes of summary judgment. In his expert report, Heyen outlines in detail the evidence upon which he relied . . ."
Campbell v. City of Springboro, Ohio, 788 F. Supp.2nd at 661-663.
The proper expert testimony can make a real difference in case outcomes. In Chavez v. Weber, Civ. 04-5027-KES (D. South Dakota, Western Division, 5/23/2006), Chavez sought federal habeas corpus relief from his conviction in state court. Chavez had been successful at a federal suppression hearing to exclude evidence of a drug dog's alert to the presence of drugs in his vehicle. This led to the federal prosecutor dismissing the federal charges against him. However, when the charges were then filed in state court and "Kyle Heyen, who trained Crockett, testified as an expert at the state suppression hearing but did not testify at the federal suppression hearing", Chavez's state suppression motion was denied and Chavez was subsequently convicted. On appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court, State v. Chavez, 668 N.W.2d 89, 2003 SD 93, 97 (S.D. 2003), the Court noted that the evidence between the federal and state prosecutions differed: "The first additional witness was Kyle Heyen the dog's trainer. Heyen, a highly experienced dog trainer described the behavior Crockett exhibited when he alerted to the odor of illegal drugs." See, also Chavez v. Weber, 497 F.3d 796 (8th Cir. 2007) affirming the denial of federal habeas corpus.