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Defendant Requests DNA Test


The People of the State of New York are the plaintiffs of the case. The defendant in the case is Roderick Keene. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York located in Queens County. Michael Gaffey is representing the defendant. The plaintiff is represented by Richard A. Brown, District Attorney’s office with Nicolleta J. Caferri for counsel.

Case Background

A New York Criminal Lawyer said on the fourteenth of February, 1989, a fifteen year old girl was accosted in the basement of her apartment building where she was attempting to do her laundry. The assailant threatened her with a gun and a knife and then dragged her into the incinerator room. He hit her in the head and then pulled down her pants, pushed her to the ground and placed his penis in her anus. He told her not to look at him. Someone approached the incident and the assailant heard them and fled from the scene.

The victim was found by her sister and the police were called. The victim was taken to the hospital and a rape kit was compiled. Her clothing, which consisted of a red and black striped shirt, pants, and underwear, were taken.

The defendant was arrested for this crime on the 16th of February.

On the first of March, 1989, Detective Christina Ford took the rape kit of the case from the police department and delivered it to Lifecodes Corporation for a DNA analysis. A New York Criminal Lawyer said this was done as requested by the People. The DNA test found the semen found on the shirt of the girl and the blood from the defendant to be a match.

The defendant moved to have the DNA evidence excluded from the case. A Frye hearing was conducted. The defendant requested that a different DNA test be used. The People argued this and the court considered the motion. At the end of the hearing the court determined that the tests that were performed by the laboratory did not achieve scientifically reliable results for submission into evidence.

During the trial the victim identified the defendant as her assailant. A forensic scientist testified that there was evidence of semen on the victim’s shirt. The rape kit was not submitted into evidence.

The defendant presented alibi’s for his defense.

The jury came back with a guilty verdict for all charges. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant was sentenced on the 23rd of February, 1993. The conviction was affirmed during an appeal.

Court Discussion and Decision

The defendant has requested the shirt to be tested for DNA. This motion was denied by the court and when submitted for re-argument. The People have attempted to relocate the evidence in question. Four samples from the shirt were found and the defendant argues that these should be submitted for retesting.

The People had the burden of establishing whether evidence existed in this case and if it could be tested. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the People have satisfied this burden by submitting evidence to show their efforts to locate the evidence for the case.

Retesting was conducted on the four extracts that were found. The results found that there were insufficient amounts of genetic material to obtain a proper DNA sample. The original orders from the court will stand and the defendant will serve the sentence that he was given.

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