A Florida trial started this week in a murder case that defies the right to a speedy trial. The case involves a murder of a young woman that occurred in 1986.
The central issue in the trial will be the defendant’s DNA. At the time of the alleged crime, the defendant was out on bail awaiting sentencing for another murder. For almost of quarter of a century, the case went unsolved. Then, in 2010, the defendant was arrested on battery charges involving his wife. The defendant’s DNA was taken during booking and submitted to a national database. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) found that the defendant’s DNA matched blood and semen obtained from the 1986 crime scene.
Problems with the DNA have already surfaced. Different results were obtained from two different labs. The FDLE test had produced only a partial match. But the test results from a second private lab provided an exact hit. The difference between the two results will be used by the defense to argue the accused’s innocence.
A second issue in the case that will create problems for the prosecution involves the reasons often cited for the need for a speedy trial. When cases grow cold, memories fade, physical evidence may be compromised or even destroyed, potential witnesses could even have died. In this case, the diagram of the crime scene created by the Sheriff’s Office is missing. And the technician who worked the crime scene can’t recall important details. The medical examiner at the time has testified, but changes are the defense will try to impeach his testimony due to the time that has passed.
The attorney for the defense has given a good synopsis of how he will make the case for the accused. The DNA issues will be important, but missing evidence will also be important. “There is no evidence of fingerprints implicating [the defendant]. They have found no vehicle [the defendant] was driving at the time. They have found no evidence linking [the defendant] to the murder other than DNA.”
If you are facing criminal charges in the Kissimmee, FL area, then call an experienced Kissimmee Florida criminal defense lawyer today.