Category Archives: Current Cases

Judge denies Steven Avery’s request for a new trial

SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – A circuit court judge has denied Steven Avery’s request for a new trial in the murder of Teresa Halbach.
On Tuesday, Sheboygan County Judge Angela Sutkiewicz issued a decision and order saying, “the defendant has failed to establish any grounds that would trigger the right to a new trial in the interests of justice. As such, no further consideration will be given to this issue.”

London fire may have destroyed DNA needed to ID victims

The devastating fire that struck a high-rise tower in London may have been so powerful that it destroyed much of the DNA evidence needed to identify its victims.
As firefighters keep searching the charred ruins of the Grenfell Tower public housing complex with sniffer dogs and drones, Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Cundy said there was “a risk that, sadly, we may not be able to identify everybody.”

After 27 Years, Judge Overturns Rape Conviction

A Dane County judge on Friday overturned the rape conviction of a man who has served 27 years in prison largely on the strength of a single hair after the FBI admitted its analyst’s conclusion tying Richard Beranek to that hair was flawed.DNA testing has confirmed that neither the hair nor semen found in the perpetrator’s underwear left at the scene of the sexual assault matched Beranek, according to Beranek’s motion for a new trial.

Murder Case Highlights Importance Of Conviction Review

On Thursday, Hartford Judge Julia D. Dewey vacated the conviction of Alfred Swinton for the murder of Carla Terry in 1991 and ordered a new trial. Swinton was convicted in 2001 and sentenced to 60 years in prison.
What makes the judge’s decision unusual is that it was supported by State’s Attorney Gail Hardy. The decision is the result, in part, of the increased sophistication of DNA testing in recent years. But it also reflects the willingness of prosecutors in Connecticut to undertake what amounts to a conviction integrity review when presented with substantial evidence of a possible wrongful conviction.

New tech helps catch ‘serial killer’

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The ministry said it used new technology to retest biological evidence, allowing it to identify Gao. Earlier this year officers examined Gao’s DNA and fingerprints and found they matched those of the wanted killer.

Ottawa police used ruse to get DNA from murder accused

dna12As far as the police were concerned, accused killer Gurpreet Ronald sealed her own fate — or, at least, licked it.
In some remarkable detective work, Ottawa police investigating the Jan. 29, 2014, slaying of Jagtar Gill surreptitiously got a DNA sample from her husband’s mistress, Gurpreet Ronald, in an elaborate ruse that had the murder suspect filling out a contest entry form and licking its envelope with the hopes of winning.

DNA analysis of A321 crash victims’ remains started in Moscow – Health Ministry

DNA ID of A321DNA analyses have been started in Moscow to help identify the remains of the victims of the Airbus A321 crash in Egypt, Russian Deputy Health Minister Igor Agramanian said.

The “Baby Doe” Investigation Showcases Forensic Science at Its Purest

Baby and DNAThe story of “Baby Doe”–the little girl whose body was found along a Boston shoreline in June–has captured the nation’s attention. So far, we know virtually nothing about what happened. We don’t know who she was, what happened to her, or who was responsible.

‘One in a billion’ DNA match between murder accused and gloves found at scene

helix9A pair of gloves found in a hedgerow near to the scene of Simon Holdsworth’s murder had a ‘one in a billion’ DNA match to his colleague Shaun Wainwright, a court heard.
The gloves were found by police on January 15, 2014 – almost one month after Mr Holdsworth was beaten to death with a blunt weapon on playing fields near Rainbow Forge Primary School in Hackenthorpe on December 16, 2013.

Forensic scientist explains how Virginia’s DNA data bank works

Forensic-scientist-explains-how-Va-s-DNA-data-bank-worksROANOKE, Va. – There is a 7.2 billion chance of someone other than Jesse Matthew being the source of DNA collected after a 2005 rape in Fairfax, according to a forensic scientist who testified in the trial.

Jesse Matthew trial turns from victim to DNA evidence

Fhelix9AIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Jesse Matthew’s attempted murder trial began with an emotional account from a woman who suffered a brutal, unprovoked sexual assault a decade ago. Now prosecutors will turn their attention to proving that Matthew was the man who attacked her.

Mansion Fire: DNA on Pizza Crust Led Authorities to DC Murder Suspect, Sources Say

DNA and PizzaAuthorities searched a Maryland home overnight in the investigation of a deadly mansion murder, going through the trash and removing bags of evidence — but in the end it was a piece of pizza crust that could lead to the suspect’s arrest.

A founding father of DNA forensics blasts the DNA evidence used in the Amanda Knox trial.

Helix4Dr. Gill’s professional opinion on the knife correlates with Profs. Stefano Conti and Carla Vecchiotti of the University of Rome. Conti and Vecchiotti analyzed the DNA evidence at the request of the court during Knox and Sollecito’s successful appeal. Conti and Vecchiotti concluded that contamination could not be ruled out because recommendations of the international scientific community regarding Low Copy Number (LCN) samples were not properly followed when testing the knife.

Maryland man sentenced to 100 years in rape seeks reversal from US Supreme Court

helix10BALTIMORE — A man convicted of raping his former roommate is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the conviction and his 100-year-prison sentence.
In papers filed Tuesday with the high court, Glenn Raynor says Maryland State Police violated his rights by testing DNA in his sweat, which was collected from a chair he had been sitting in during a voluntary interview at a police barracks.

Inside look at Arizona Department of Public Safety crime lab

GATCPHOENIX – ABC15 has a look inside an Arizona crime lab following Phoenix Police cracking two cold cases from the early 1990’s.
Police said DNA evidence links Bryan Patrick Miller to the murders of 22-year-old Angela Brasso and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas.
The Arizona DPS crime lab stores evidence for years, even decades until detectives are able to solve cases.