Scott Larson Appointed New State Crime Lab Director

Attorney General Tim Fox announced today he has appointed a new State Crime Lab Director.  Scott Larson, current supervisor of the Crime Lab’s Toxicology Section, replaces outgoing Dr. Phil Kinsey as State Crime Lab Director effective August 12.

Larson, 42, received his bachelor of science degree in 1999 and his master of science degree in pharmacology/pharmaceutical sciences in 2005 from the University of Montana.  Larson’s work in the field of forensic toxicology started when he interned at the State Crime Lab while in graduate school. He previously worked as an analytical toxicologist in the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System in Rockville, Maryland and later as the Deputy Chief Toxicologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington D.C.

Current Lab Director Dr. Phil Kinsey leaves later this month to become Director of the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Lab, located in Vernon Hills.  Kinsey began working at Montana’s State Crime Lab in 2005 as its DNA Supervisor.  When Attorney General Fox took office in 2013, he appointed Kinsey as Lab Director.

“In four short years, Phil made a great many improvements at the Lab, including establishing the Eastern Montana Satellite Lab in Billings, shortening turn-around time for toxicology results, and restructuring the Medical Examiner’s Office to help us improve efficiencies,” Attorney General Tim Fox said.  “Phil has also been an invaluable member of our Sex Assault Evidence Task Force since its inception two years ago, as we work toward making sure all previously unsubmitted kits get tested, and in finding justice for all sex assault survivors.  We’ll miss Phil both personally and professionally here at DOJ and wish him great good luck in Illinois,” Attorney General Fox added.

Larson is certified by the American Board of Forensic Toxicologists and is a member of the Society of Forensic Toxicology. He has published and/or presented papers on topics related to forensic toxicology in peer-reviewed journals and at national conferences. He has also provided lectures on forensic toxicology to multiple universities and various government agencies.  Larson’s photo is available here.

“Scott’s supervisory role in the Lab has played a big part in the improvement of its toxicology testing turn-around times,” Attorney General Fox said.  “His experience and dedication to the Lab and the important role it plays in public safety will be invaluable in carrying forward the same spirit of continued improvements and efficiencies that benefit Montana’s criminal justice community and the citizens of Montana.”  Last week, Montana’s criminal justice community was informed of Larson’s appointment in this letter from Attorney General Fox.

The Forensic Science Division, also known as the State Crime Lab, analyzes crime evidence submitted by city, county, and state law enforcement officials.  Headquartered in Missoula with a satellite location in Billings, the Lab also manages a statewide system of death investigations.  It has been accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board since 2005, and in international standards since 2011.