Friday Roundup: DNA Proves Valuable Years After Crimes Are Committed


A routine drunk-driving arrest last year resulted in a man being accused of raping and strangling three women 21 years ago.  The Yonkers, New York, man was never considered a suspect throughout the past two decades until he submitted a DNA sample after the arrest. 

The killings were linked by DNA evidence and occurred in 1989, 1991 and 1996

.  Since the first rape, law enforcement looked at over a hundred suspects.

A DNA examiner from the Arkansas Crime Laboratory testified this week that

DNA tests conducted on items from a 2005 murder of a 19-year-old girl yielded no matches to the two suspects in the case

.  The victim’s boyfriend was acquitted of the crime that year and police arrested another man three years later when investigators said DNA evidence found on a condom wrapper linked him to the crime.  The trial enters its third week on Monday.

An Oakland man was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing a woman 16 years ago

.  DNA evidence didn’t connect the perpetrator to the crime until 2004.  The man was convicted of first-degree murder and the special circumstance of committing a murder during a rape.   His lawyer admitted the DNA evidence proved they had sex, but said the prosecutor hadn’t proved rape.  

A Missouri judge overturned a 1994 conviction for rape on the basis of new DNA evidence

.  The judge said he had reservations about the original evidence and suggested that if the new DNA evidence was available during the first trial, the man may never have been convicted in the first place.  The older evidence included two photo lineups shown to the victim. First, she identified a man with a full head of hair and then she identified Kenneth W. York, who had a receding hairline. Developments in DNA enabled state to sample two specimens from the victim’s bed sheet where the crime occurred.  One female profile and one male profile were tested. The test positively excluded the York.  Hi alibi also placed him 12 miles away.  York was convicted with no other witnesses and no physical evidence and is expected to be released from prison soon.

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