Judge OKs DNA results for trial use

November 15, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

An Anne Arundel County judge ruled yesterday that DNA evidence may be used against Scotland E. Williams, the man charged with killing two Arnold lawyers in May.

The evidence comes from microscopic cells scraped from a drinking glass found in the victims' kitchen. According to the tests, the cells are from Mr. Williams' mouth, prosecutors say.

Judge Eugene M. Lerner rejected arguments by Mr. Williams' lawyers that the tests took too long and that the results were too unreliable to be used as evidence.

Craig Gendler, one of Mr. Williams' three court-appointed lawyers, said 18 weeks was too long to wait for test results.

"That's an excessive, inordinate delay in our view," he told Judge Lerner.

The judge agreed with State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee, who argued that the delay was not excessive.

"We acted as quickly as we could," said Mr. Weathersbee, pointing out that the Police Department's only DNA expert, Dr. William Vosburgh, a serologist, had to analyze 93 items taken from the victims' home and decide which ones to send to Cellmark Diagnostic Laboratories in Germantown. He said Dr. Vosburgh also was busy analyzing evidence for other cases. The Williams case is the doctor's 40th this year.

Mr. Williams, 31, of the 800 block of Bradford Ave. in Arnold has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jose E. Trias, 49, and his wife, Julie Noel Gilbert, 48. If convicted, Mr. Williams could be sentenced to die in the gas chamber.

The victims were found shot to death May 16 in the bedroom of their weekend home at Winchester on the Severn.

Mr. Williams was charged May 19 after he was allegedly videotaped using Mr. Trias' bank card at two Glen Burnie banks. Police say one of their detectives also recognized Mr. Williams from an earlier burglary case in Severna Park.

Mr. Williams' trial is scheduled for Feb. 6, 1995.

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