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But this evidence has the potential to be highly technical and confusing in a way that could unduly affect the outcome of a trial. Not surprisingly, jurors place a great deal of trust in the accuracy and reliability of DNA evidence.
A police evidence technician testified that he used swabs to collect potential DNA evidence from the interior and exterior door handles of the truck's passenger door, the passenger door armrest, the interior dashboard handle, the passenger seat headrest, the driver's seat, and the center console.
The man, later identified as George Jerome White, Jr., appeared to be in great pain and told Haggerty that he had been shot in his side.
Haggerty attempted to ask White questions about who had shot him, but White had trouble answering and gave only one- or two-word responses.
Charak discovered a partial DNA profile on the interior dashboard handle and excluded Petitioner as a person whose DNA could have been discovered there.
Charak also found a prominent DNA profile, described as a “major contributor” to a mixture of profiles, in the sample taken from the passenger seat headrest.
Petitioner appeared moments later and said to Bryant Whack that “it was a dude.” Bryant Whack testified that he thought the incident was “funny” because he assumed Petitioner had gone to meet a woman and learned instead that the person he had been speaking to was a man. Following the interviews, Petitioner was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, robbery, theft, and use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence.
The case came on for a trial before the Circuit Court for Prince George's County on August 30, 2010.
Haggerty, aided by another officer, started to give White options that could describe his attacker, such as asking if the person was male or female.
As a result of that process, Haggerty learned that White had been robbed and in what direction the gunman had fled.
In addition to the samples taken from the truck, Charak possessed DNA profiles obtained from the victim White and Petitioner to use as a comparison.
Charak was unable to uncover a DNA profile in the sample taken from the exterior passenger door handle of the truck, and neither White's nor Petitioner's DNA was consistent with DNA found on the interior door handle on the passenger side.
J., HARRELL, BATTAGLIA, GREENE, ADKINS, Mc DONALD, and * BELL, JJ. We consider here whether a prosecutor's incorrect statements during rebuttal closing argument regarding DNA evidence, in a case in which that evidence was of central importance, required a mistrial.