06-24-2006, 08:49 PM #1
DNA Labs arent getting better in Texas!
<waving to everyone>
Hello.. I saw this, and had to share!
New DNA match further clears name of wrongly convicted man
Houston Chronicle June 22, 2006
Houston police have arrested a man in a 1998 rape for which an innocent teenager served more than four years in prison, officials announced Wednesday, bringing police closer to resolving a case that has become a symbol of their crime lab's incompetence.
Police arrested Donnie Lamon Young, 24, last week after a state database of DNA samples matched his profile to evidence from the rape of a Houston woman who was taken at gunpoint from her apartment complex, raped by two men and dumped in a field.
The person convicted in the case, Josiah Sutton, was exonerated after new DNA tests discredited analyses performed by the Houston Police Department crime lab that helped secure his conviction. His family was hopeful that the arrest would bring closure to his ordeal.
"My son had been pardoned," Sutton's mother, Carol Batie, said, "but it still weighed on my heart that no one had been arrested and that some people would not believe in Josiah's innocence until someone was. Now, justice can be done for the victim, and we can really close the book and say he did not do it."
Five days after the Oct. 25, 1998, attack, the victim identified 16-year-old Sutton, whom she saw walking near her apartment, as one of her attackers. Although he maintained his innocence, Sutton was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison, largely on the testimony from HPD crime-lab analysts who told jurors Sutton's DNA was an "exact match" for evidence from the crime.
The case against the former high school football star and eldest of five children began to unravel 3 years later after an independent audit exposed widespread problems at the HPD crime lab, including lax protocols, unqualified analysts and inadequate facilities.
New tests were ordered in hundreds of cases with DNA evidence, including Sutton's. Private labs found that HPD analysts were wrong to include Sutton as a suspect in the case. He was released from prison and later pardoned and is receiving more than $118,000 in reparations from the state. He still struggles to get his life back on track, his mother said, as he fruitlessly looks for work and tries to manage life as an adult.
While performing the new tests on evidence from the 1998 rape, private labs identified the complete DNA profile of an unknown male and a partial profile of a second suspect. The complete profile was entered into the Texas Department of Public Safety's database in June 2003.
Although Sutton had been cleared and a profile identified, police had no leads and were not actively working the case, according to HPD officials and prosecutors.
"That is one of the travesties of all of this," said Assistant District Attorney John Jordan, who will prosecute the case against Young. "There was somebody out there."
'We're very certain'
Young's DNA profile entered the state database sometime in 2005, during a stint in prison for possession of a controlled substance. State law dictates that felons serving time in prison and registered sex offenders submit DNA samples.
On May 8, DPS matched Young's profile to evidence from the 1998 rape and alerted HPD.
Houston police secured a search warrant and obtained a fresh DNA sample from Young, said HPD Assistant Chief Vicki King, who added that Young was identified as "a possible hit in this case."
On June 9, detectives were notified that Young's DNA sample taken after the search warrant matched the evidence found on the victim's clothing. He was arrested five days later and charged with aggravated sexual assault, police said.
Investigators are confident that Young is 1 of 2 people who took part in the attack.
"Scientific evidence has proven that Donnie Young is half of the formula of this crime. We're very certain of that," said Detective K.L. McMurtry, with HPD's sex-crimes unit.
Young is being held at the Harris County Jail with bail set at $150,000.
"His only response during our entire contact with him, for the most part, was he doesn't recall" any involvement, McMurtry said.
The woman has not identified Young as one of the men who assaulted her, police said.
"She was shown a live line-up but was unable, due to the length of time, to make an identification of this man," King said.
Young's arrest has prompted police to search for the second attacker, who they think goes by a name pronounced "Dee-kee," and for two men whom the woman said she saw talking to her attackers.
"What we are doing is looking forward," King said. "There's nothing that we can do about what occurred in the past. I believe for the Sutton family, it's not closed I'm sure they still have issues."
Sutton's mother said her biggest hope is that those who have not acknowledged her son's innocence, such as District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, now will.
"It is important to me that it be said, with no reservations, that Josiah did not do this," she said. "If they have arrested someone who did, there should be no question."
Rosenthal, who has said he is unable to call Sutton innocent because the victim has been steadfast in her identification of him, said Wednesday that he did not yet have enough information on the case against Young.
"I still don't know enough to know whether she was mistaken or not," he said. "I intend to look into it, but if he (Sutton) is innocent, I will be the first to say he is. But I can't say that yet."
Source: Houston Chroniclehttp://kimmysharinglight.com/
Many people can talk the talk, some people really know how to walk the walk, but it is a rare few who get to dance the dance!
ઇઉ Kimmy aka Cassata
06-25-2006, 08:49 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
Hi, Cassata!Originally Posted by Cassata11
Houston has been having a problem in their labs for some time now, haven't they? Seems I recall they had gotten pretty lax with procedures and rules and supervision, etc. Maybe they will tighten up now or make moves to improve at least. If they haven't already. There are bound to be more floaters in their system from past errors who haven't surfaced yet. Maybe this is one of those. Of course, this case is only 4 years old so maybe not. Wasn't there an unqualified woman uncovered and fired sometime back for many of these errors?
"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." - Tom Clancy__________________This is the humble opinion of Goody Trugritt.