DNA: RECENT CASES

LANCE DAVID BEAN, Appellant (Defendant), v. THE STATE OF WYOMING,
Appellee (Plaintiff), 2016 WY 48, (2016)
http://www.courts.state.wy.us/Documents/Opinions/2016WY48.pdf

 A woman hosted a housewarming party in her apartment in April of 1972 where she was later found dead two days later. It appeared that she had been raped and then killed. Evidence was collected but as DNA testing was not performed in 1972, the case went cold for nearly forty years. When the case was revisited in 2011, a fingernail was sent for testing and one of the party guests, Lance Bean, was arrested charged with first-degree murder and rape.

At the trial, there was a motion to exclude the DNA evidence. It was denied, and the evidence was presented, and the determination of weight to give it was left to the jury. DNA testing methodology was explained, and as much of the evidence was considered “touch DNA”, the definition of this was explained as well. Mr. Bean ruled for a judgment of acquittal but was denied. The jury returned a verdict of guilt of attempted rape but not guilty of rape or murder. Mr. Bean then held that the court abused its discretion regarding the DNA evidence.

 Forensic Summary by Gina Gallucci

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