I appeared on Fox News Happening Now with host Jon Scott and co-guest Lis Wiehl to discuss two high-profile murder cases that were solved decades later by the use of DNA evidence. One case was actually solved when police officers posing as waiters at a pizzeria secured pizza crust that the defendant left behind at the restaurant. Wow, great police work!
In each of these murder cases, the criminal defense attorneys will have a very hard road to overcome the quality of the evidence prosecutors have amassed. A client charged with a serious crime where there is DNA evidence is being used needs to hire the best criminal defense lawyer to explain how their client’s DNA wound up at the scene of a violent crime. While the defense needs to prove nothing, the reality of the courtroom is that the best criminal defense attorneys know a different reality exists in the face of such compelling evidence.
As former New Jersey criminal lawyers who have investigated and tried numerous New Jersey murder cases as NJ prosecutors and NJ criminal defenses attorneys, we know the power of DNA evidence. While the prosecutors and police did a great job at not stopping at this powerful evidence and securing other evidence, one case has an opening for a defense, the other seems very solid for the prosecution.
For example, in one of the cases, they secured an eye-witnesses/victim who was able to make a positive identification of the suspect. In addition to that, the police also matched ballistics from a handgun recovered in the defendant’s home to support their theory of the cases.
To us, that combination of the evidence is overwhelming.
In the other case, the DNA evidence is not as compelling as there may be other explanations as to how the DNA (blood evidence) was at the scene of the crime for a lawful purpose, as well as the possibility of another suspect. Still, we believe the proofs will be such that the defendant will be found guilty of the murder.
Check out these interesting cases to see how prosecutors and police solved these two cases after decades of them being cold case homicides. It is an example of excellent and dogged police work.