Category Archives: Case Law

Tyrone Noling case: Ohio Supreme Court rules on DNA evidence

CLEVELAND, Ohio – In a decision issued today, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that death row inmate Tyrone Noling can have access to only part of the powerful DNA evidence his legal team says could point to another killer.

National DNA database helps crack cold cases

Helix3For more than a decade after he broke into a Toledo home, raped and hogtied a woman who’d been asleep in her bed, Aaron Lamont Beamon got away with the violent crime.
It would take time and the nation’s massive database of DNA samples to catch up with Beamon.
Now 39, he is to be sentenced Sept. 9 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court after pleading guilty in June to rape, kidnapping, burglary, and robbery in connection with the Oct. 15, 2001, attack on the 21-year-old victim.

Ga. bill looks to expand DNA sampling for suspects

Georgia cold casesAUGUSTA, Ga.–The state of Georgia could soon start collecting DNA from accused felons before they’re ever convicted of any crime. It’s part of Senate Bill 135. The DNA would go into the statewide database in hopes of solving more crimes and exonerating people serving time for crimes they didn’t commit.

Indiana Supreme Court rules on evidence

Gavel2INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that criminal defendants aren’t entitled to question in court every person who handled evidence used against them.

DNA could speak for a long-dead, long-unknown L.A. baby

Baby Jane DoeAnd here, sorrowfully, she is again. Another dead child, her name unknown for almost three decades.
Now that New York’s cold case of another long-dead, long-unknown child has been solved, Los Angeles is hoping that its anonymous little girl, Baby Jane Doe #61, found dead in 1985, might also be matched with a name, and even a family — and one day, maybe linked to whoever neglected her to death.

Can DNA collected off feminine hygiene product be used in court?

DNA and justiceLAWRENCEVILLE, Va. (WTVR) – After more than a decade the woman accused of killing and then tossing the bodies of her newborn twins down a trash chute will once again face a judge. During Thursday’s suppression hearing, the court will decide if the evidence against Darnesha Paulita Berry will be allowed at trial.

Md. public defenders weighing appeals in DNA cases

Justice and DNAANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is seriously considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases involving rape convictions where DNA analysts’ reports were used but the analysts themselves never testified.

DNA Leads to Arrest in Idaho Cold Case Murder

DNA DatabaseBOISE, Idaho — For 15 years, Boise Police Detective Mark Ayotte has kept Kay Lynn Jackson’s files on his desk. He felt the unsolved murder as a heavy and constant weight.
In 1999, Ayotte told the Idaho Statesman that he had faith that DNA evidence would one day lead to her killer.
Ayotte’s DNA prophecy proved true. After more than 1,000 leads came up empty, it was a DNA “profile” that finally broke the case, police said Wednesday.

Kentucky criminals must have access to evidence for DNA testing, Supreme Court rules

GavelTwo offenders serving life sentences for murder based on “highly circumstantial evidence” should have access to evidence to conduct DNA testing that wasn’t available at the time of their trial, the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday.

Federal Court Rules Phoenix Police Officers Can Be Forced to Give DNA Samples Without Warrant

GavelWASHINGTON, DC — Judicial Watch announced today a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Arizona dismissing a lawsuit by Phoenix police officers Daniel Bill, Bryan Hanania, and Michael Malpass, who were forced to give DNA samples in the “Death Unknown” case of slain police officer Sean Drenth.

D.C. Appeals Court: Defendant Had Right to Confront Forensic Scientists

JusticeDNA analysis can make or break a criminal case in a way that most other evidence can’t. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled today that under the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause, a defendant had a right to confront the forensic examiners who handled DNA evidence in his case, rather than a supervisor who was not directly involved.

Wisconsin appeals court upholds charging unknown suspect without full DNA profile

DNA and justiceMADISON, Wisconsin — A Wisconsin appeals court says prosecutors legally charged an unknown suspect using only DNA markers rather than a full profile.

Lawyer asks judge to suppress DNA evidence in rape case

CourtA defense attorney on Monday questioned the strength of the DNA evidence that Fayette County prosecutors contend links a Lake Lynn man to a 2011 rape.

Judge rules DNA evidence admissible in Royal Oak murder trial

Oakland County Circuit Judge Colleen O’Brien has ruled that DNA evidence will be admissible in a murder trial against a man accused of brutally killing an elderly Royal Oak woman in her home last year.
Attorneys for Alan Wood, 48, filed a motion seeking to prevent Y-STR DNA evidence from being used at trial.

DNA key to resolving decades-old criminal cases, both defense, prosecution find

It can clear a suspect or secure a conviction, as it did last week in Maine’s oldest cold-case homicide.