Bergen County Prosecutors Intend to Use New DNA Test in Trial of Man Charged with East Rutherford Murder
Prosecutors in Bergen County NJ are planning to rely on a new, “next generation” test to analyze DNA evidence in an East Rutherford murder trial.
According to law enforcement, the 40-year-old suspect murdered a 70-year-old woman inside her East Rutherford NJ residence. After allegedly bludgeoning the woman to death, the suspect, who lives in Wood-Ridge, reportedly set fire to her body as he tried to destroy the evidence of a killing.
Medical examiners later conducted an autopsy and determined that the victim’s death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head. At this time, investigators do not believe that the suspect used a weapon to carry out the killing.
The murder allegedly occurred in September 2012. Not long after police identified the suspect as the killer, they placed him under arrest.
According to officials, the suspect knew the victim because she worked for his father at Kurgan-Bergen Realty.
Now Bergen County NJ prosecutors intend to use a new test to analyze infinitesimal DNA evidence that they allege links the suspect to the brutal killing. The profiling technique is known as low copy number (LCN) typing because it can be used to connect a suspect to evidence of only a few cells of DNA.
In this case, the blood cells were found by investigators in a kitchen sink at an East Rutherford apartment located more than a mile away from the site of the homicide. Prosecutors think that the suspect probably left the trace amounts of DNA in the sink when he tried to wipe away evidence of the killing.
The suspect’s defense lawyer recently appeared in Bergen County Superior Court and attempted to get the test results excluded from the murder trial. He argued that the new test is scientifically unreliable. However, the superior court judge ruled that prosecutors would be allowed to present the evidence at trial.
The defense attorney intends to appeal the judge’s decision.
Prior to this case, just one United States lab, located in NYC, has actually used the new DNA test in criminal cases. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City has used the DNA test in 140 trials.
If the suspect in this case is convicted of first degree murder, he would be subject to life imprisonment in New Jersey State Prison.
For additional information about this case, access the NJ.com article entitled “New DNA Test to Make N.J. Debut in Murder Trial, Report Says.”