DNA experts' credibility questioned in Bryan Clay trial

LAS VEGAS - Bryan Clay's defense team went after the credibility of DNA experts used in the case on Friday. Clay's on trial for the 2012 rapes and murders of Yadira Martinez and her 10-year-old daughter, Karla.

On Friday, two DNA experts who tested evidence found on the victim's bodies, as well as two jackets were questioned on the stand.  The prosecution spent most of their time linking that evidence to Clay, while the defense went after protocol and work ethics.

The private lab in Virginia was hired by the Clark County District Attorney's office this year to re-test evidence that had already been tested by Metro Police.

The out of state DNA experts tested the victim's rape kits and were able to link some DNA to that of Clay's.  They also found a drop of blood on one of the jackets that also pointed to Clay's DNA.

However, the second jacket did not, although it had traces of semen.  The experts got other pieces of evidence, including a beanie, a baseball cap, and a t-shirt that they were instructed not to test.

The defense also asked a report that said a box containing Clay's DNA was only partially sealed when it got to the lab in Virginia.

Attorney: "Have you personally been asked to bring with you to court a photograph that represents the issue relative to this box being only partially sealed?
Elena Bemelmans, DNA Expert: No, I have no photograph."

Prosecutors objected when the defense asked if the DNA expert was aware someone at her lab had been fired for falsifying reports.

The defense also pointed out that the lab does not keep an error rate of their work.

Some questions were also about the type of protective gear they wear to avoid contamination of the evidence.

Every day since the beginning of the trial, we've seen the victim's family sitting inside the courtroom, listening to even the most graphic testimony.

If convicted, Clay faces the death penalty.
     
    


 


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