Crime lab DNA tests questioned - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Crime lab DNA tests questioned

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Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News

Marion County, July 18 - DNA played a big role in the conviction of Michael West. A jury found West guilty in the 1998 stabbing death of store clerk Carla Hollen.

Now his attorney, Jack Crawford, questions the DNA results. "This was an analysis of a minute amount of blood of the victim."

Since then, Crawford has growing suspicions about the work ethics of DNA expert Dr. Kuppareddi Balamurugan, "Raised my suspicion about his termination at the lab."

Crawford says Balamurugan would not talk about why he left the Marion County crime lab.

But, about his DNA work, Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said, "There were some irregularities with some of the procedures not being done in order to expedite the testing."

Brizzi ordered retests in 64 different DNA cases performed by Balamurugan.

Crawford even has a second case involving DNA and questionable results. The 30-years plus criminal attorney says there is no cutting corners when is comes to strong evidence. "You must always follow the rules in doing the testing to produce a credible result."

"As the prosecutor, the only people I want in jail are the right people." While Brizzi believes every DNA retest will conclude the same results, Crawford obviously hopes it opens doors for his client.

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