Dna Evidence Enters Murder Trial

Fbi Expert Testifies Defendant's Blood Tied To Semen From Victim

April 10, 1991|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Staff writer

An FBI forensic expert testified in Circuit Court on Monday that DNAfrom a man charged with murdering an Elkridge woman matches that found in bodily fluids taken from the victim's body.

Special Agent Dwight Adams, head of the FBI's DNA analysis unit in Washington, testified that lab tests matched DNA in a blood sample from Vernon Clark with DNA in semen taken from the body of Kathleen Patricia Gouldin.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the genetic blueprint for all life. Researchers believe each person's DNA is unique.

Clark is charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault in the July 3, 1989,killing of Gouldin, 23, a manager at Fat Tuesday's restaurant in Baltimore.

Police say Clark shot Gouldin in the chest with a 20-gaugeshotgun through the window of her first-floor Elkridge apartment.

In opening statements April 2, prosecutors said the DNA tests would be key evidence against Clark, 35, of Elkridge.

Adams testified that three tests at the FBI's DNA analysis lab confirmed the match.

Based on the test results, Adams said, the probability of finding

another black person with the same DNA profile is 1 in 300,000.

Barbara Kreinar, Clark's public defender, questioned Adams about the reliability of the FBI's population data bases and the possibility for human error in DNA testing.

Adams said the FBI can detect human error in the DNA testing but found none. The results in the Clark case are reliable, he said.

This is the third case involving DNA evidence to come to trial in Howard County Circuit Court.

Clark, 35, an animal skinner at Carroll Braun's Elkridge rendering plant for 10 years, has maintained his innocence in Gouldin's killing since his arrest in January 1990.

The trial, before Judge Raymond J. Kane, is expected to conclude in a week.

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