DNA Evidence Cited in St. Johns County Domestic Violence Homicide

DNA evidence has allegedly linked a man to the scene of his wife’s death, The St. Augustine Record is reporting.

DNA is a very complex tool used by law enforcement ; the public often doesn’t understand just how in-depth this science is. Television shows like CSI and Law & Order simplify the use of DNA by law enforcement so the general public can still stay engaged. But DNA use, especially in a Jacksonville Murder case, is much more difficult to understand and explain. In the hands of a proper defense, it’s also not as damaging for the defendant as it seems on television.
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An experienced and well-versed Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer is able to sort through the DNA reports that law enforcement get from the state-funded laboratories and even hire experts who can analyze the data and testify about whether the DNA really is a match to the defendant.

According to the newspaper’s account, a 42-year-old from Jacksonville has been charged with killing his 35-year-old estranged wife. Detectives say she was shot to death.

The newspaper cites deputies’ records, which state that “following the execution of several search warrants and the results of DNA testing,” the man was arrested and charged with the crime. Officials wouldn’t discuss the nature of the DNA evidence nor the search warrants. Keep in mind it would not be unusual to find a husband’s DNA on or about the wife.

When officials found the body, deputies determined she had been shot several times and had other trauma, which officials haven’t released details about. She later died at a local hospital. A medical examiner ruled that the cause of death was blood loss from injuries that included gun shots, stab wounds and blunt force trauma.

The case, it appears from the autopsy results, was very brutal. It’s likely that the scene was very messy, which means investigators could easily have contaminated the scene. When law enforcement officers get to a scene, their first reaction is to make sure there is no danger. Then, they call in rescue workers if they find a victim. Throughout this activity, evidence is trashed and the scene is contaminated. People are walking in and out, touching things and causing problems for the prosecution, though that’s not their first responsibility.

By the time crime scene investigators get on the scene to document everything and take samples, they may be working with a scene that has far less value for the state’s case. And in the case of domestic violence in Jacksonville, police are always going to first look to an ex-spouse as a suspect, regardless of whether any evidence actually moves them in that direction.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

More Blog Entries:

DUI Arrest in Jacksonville Leads to Murder Charge: August 27, 2011
Stabbing at Party turns Fatal; 20-Year-Old Charged With Murder in Jacksonville: August 23, 2011
Additional Resources:

Cops cite DNA evidence in arrest, by Sheldon Gardner, The St. Augustine Record