Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pretty good day for the defense in Yogurt Shop hearing--Part 3

According to Darla Davis' testimony, the following are descriptions of items of evidence about which the prosecutors and defense argued this afternoon. Judge Lynch ultimately ruled that these items must be made available to the defense for testing but that the prosecutors and defense need to work out together the conditions under which the defense's experts will do their testing (videotaping, etc.)

The pink, mock-turtleneck shirt--
In 1992, DPS tested it for accelerants, cuts, and hair. In 2001, cuttings from the shirt were tested for DNA but no DNA profile was able to be obtained. Two stains collected were presumptively tested for acid phosphatase, which is an enzyme secreted in semen and other bodily fluids. Both collected stains tested as a weak positive for semen.

The multi-colored child's/girl's size 14 shirt--
In 1993, Sergeant John Jones removed it from the DPS lab and gave it to a psychic. In 2000, DPS found no significant stains, so they performed no further testing. Photos taken in 1992 show the shirt is not knotted, but Irma Rios' inventory report described it as knotted.

Ligature from Amy Ayers' head--
It was a white sock with no knot. Testing of the cuttings taken from it yielded no DNA. In 2001, it was tested for the presence of ignitable liquids and tested again for DNA.

Ligature from Eliza Thomas' head--
It was a white sock with a singed hair in it and was not knotted. No stains or ignitable liquids were found on it. A partial DNA profile compatible with Eliza Thomas was found.

Ligature from Eliza Thomas' wrists--
It was a bra with a loose knot, no stains, no ignitable liquids, and no DNA.

Ligature from Sarah Harbison's head--
It was a gray knotted sock with no stains or ignitable liquids. In 2001, it was tested for DNA and none was obtained.

Ligature from Sarah Harbison's wrists--
It was a knotted pair of panties with no stains or ignitable liquids. In 2001 a private DNA lab obtained a partial profile consistent with Sarah Harbison as well as a partial DNA profile from an unknown contributor or contributors.

Ligature from Jennifer Harbison's head--
It was a gray knotted sock with no stains, no ignitable liquids, and no DNA.


Julie said...

All the media coverage (understandably) focused on the request for additional DNA testing yesterday but after reading your notes from the hearing, I think that the biggest item to come out of the hearing was the lack of accelerant to be found on any of the clothing found near the girls bodies. The original arson report that was developed in 1991 stated that the fire started in the back of the yogurt shop on some shelves. When Scott confessed, he stated that the fire was started on the girls bodies and the arson report was amended to reflect this. The lack of accelerant seem to directly contradict this?

Iris said...

Thanks for sharing that observation. I hadn't put that together. I'll definitely check my notes from Michael Scott's first trial.

Julie said...

Hi Clair,

I believe that what happened was that after the Scott confession, the prosecution got a 2nd expert to write new findings that were consistent with the Scott confession, that the fire started on the bodies. Those findings were then presented to the original arson investigator who amended his report.