from a judgment and an order of the circuit court for
Milwaukee County No. 2012CF2457: JEFFRY A. WAGNER, Judge.
Curley, P.J., Kessler and Brash, JJ.
Robert Lavern Cameron appeals a judgment of conviction,
following a jury trial, of armed robbery, first-degree
intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional
homicide, bail jumping, and possession of a firearm by a
felon. Cameron also appeals the order denying his
postconviction motion for a new trial. On appeal, Cameron
argues that: (1) the trial court erred when it failed to hold
a Daubert hearing, sua sponte, before
allowing an intelligence analyst to give expert testimony
about cell phone mapping; (2) the State's closing
argument constituted plain error because "the prosecutor
vouched for the credibility of a key state's
witness"; (3) trial counsel was ineffective; and (4) the
real controversy was not fully tried. (Capitalization
omitted.) We affirm.
On June 19, 2012, an Information charged Cameron with: (1)
armed robbery; (2) attempted first-degree intentional
homicide, with the use of a dangerous weapon; (3)
first-degree intentional homicide, with the use of a
dangerous weapon; (4) bail jumping; and (5) felon in
possession of a firearm. The charges stemmed from the
shooting death of Russell Setum and shots taken at L.S.,
According to the facts adduced at trial, in the early morning
hours of April 29, 2012, Setum met a female acquaintance at a
Milwaukee gas station. When the acquaintance arrived at the
gas station, she saw Setum speaking to a man who introduced
himself as "Rico." "Rico" was later
identified as Nicholas Smith. Setum and his acquaintance made
plans to go to L.S.'s home. Setum and his acquaintance
drove to L.S.'s home in separate cars.
Setum called his mother while in route to her house and
informed her that he was nearby. Setum's mother went
outside to wait for him. When Setum parked outside of his
mother's home, a man with a gun approached Setum and
ordered Setum to take off his coat, shoes, and jeans. Setum
complied. Setum's mother, who witnessed the robbery,
begged the robber not to hurt her son; however, the robber
shot Setum twice in the head and proceeded to shoot at L.S.
The shooter hit L.S. twice in the foot, ultimately resulting
in the amputation of that foot.
Setum's mother was unable to identify the shooter;
however, a police investigation led to charges against Smith.
Smith made inculpatory statements to police and also
implicated Cameron in Setum's robbery and the shootings.
Smith told police that he and Cameron saw Setum at a club and
made plans to rob Setum. Smith and Cameron followed Setum to
a gas station, and then to Setum's home, where Smith said
he witnessed Cameron shoot Setum in the head and then shoot
at Setum's mother multiple times. Smith agreed to testify
against Cameron at trial, pursuant to a plea agreement.
At trial, the State also called Angela Rodriguez, an
intelligence analyst at the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug
Trafficking Area. On its witness list, the State named
Rodriguez as an "Expert Witness as to Phone Tracking and
Cell Phone Tower Data." (Bolding omitted.) Rodriguez
explained the process of cell phone location mapping as it
pertained to activity from Cameron's cell phone and the
phones of other relevant parties. Rodriguez also testified as
to the timings of various calls from the relevant actors,
including Cameron. The parties stipulated to the authenticity
of the records, as the records were obtained from the
relevant cell phone service providers. No objection was made
to Rodriguez's status as an expert witness.
At the close of testimony, the State summarized the evidence
against Cameron and made the following statement regarding
Ladies and Gentlemen, Nick Smith came in and he told you the
truth. And it's true when he first was presented with an
offer, a proffer agreement with no deals on the table he had
to come in and tell us the truth. He didn't say at first.
He didn't. He said he wasn't involved. He had to
admit to his own involvement and eventually he did.
And yes, a deal has been made and you have been told about
every aspect of that deal. But the problem is, Ladies and
Gentlemen, when you have a case like this and people like
Robert Cameron and Nick Smith in a case like this, the phone
evidence while it is corroboration and can tell you if
someone is telling you the truth like it does with Nick
Smith, you need a witness. And Ladies and Gentlemen, Nick
Smith, yes he was given a deal but he told you the truth.
counsel did not object.
The jury found Cameron guilty as charged. Cameron filed a
postconviction motion, arguing that he was entitled to a new
trial because: (1) the trial court "failed in its
gatekeeping role when it allowed Rodriguez to testify as an
expert without first requiring proof that her testimony
reflected scientific knowledge"; (2) the State's
closing argument amounted to plain error; and (3) counsel was
ineffective for failing to make a Daubert challenge
to Rodriguez's testimony and for failing to object to the
part of the State's closing argument in which the State
"vouched for the credibility of [its] key witness."
The postconviction court denied the motion. This appeal
On appeal, Cameron reiterates the arguments made in his
postconviction motion and also contends that the real
controversy of his case has not been fully
Because Cameron did not object either to Rodriguez's
testimony or to the State's closing statement, Cameron
must rely on the doctrine of plain error, which allows
appellate courts to review errors waived by a party's
failure to timely object. This doctrine is recognized in WIS.
STAT. § 901.03(4) (2013-14). The statute provides:
"Nothing in this rule precludes taking notice of plain
errors affecting substantial rights although they were not
brought to the attention of the judge." Id. Our
supreme court explained the doctrine of plain error in
State v. Jorgensen, 2008 WI 60, 310 Wis.2d 138, 754
Plain error is error so fundamental that a new trial or other
relief must be granted even though the action was not
objected to at the time. The error, however, must be obvious
and substantial. Courts should use the plain ...