CENTRAL TEXAS DIGEST
Police DNA lab hearing delayed
A district judge has postponed a hearing that could give an early indication of how recently revealed allegations about past problems at the Austin police DNA lab would affect criminal prosecutions.
The one-day delay came after defense lawyer Stephen Orr asked for access to voluminous documentation about the DNA laboratory and for state District Judge Bob Perkins to appoint experts to help him review the information.
Orr represents Randall Scott Jordan, who is set for trial on aggravated assault charges next week in Perkins’ court. Orr has filed a motion asking that prosecutors be barred from using DNA evidence against Jordan. Orr said there are too many questions about the reliability of the lab raised in a February complaint by a former forensic scientist.
Orr’s latest motion asks prosecutors to produce documents related to past reviews of the lab, past correspondence between lab scientists and police, past contamination incidents and other information.
Prosecutors were providing much of what Orr asked for Monday morning but said that the correspondence between police and scientists would be too voluminous to produce and that information about contamination is not centrally kept. an overhaul of Third Street downtown between Trinity and San Antonio streets, a project that adds no lanes.
The City Council, which could amend the list or decline to call the bond election, will consider the list as early as July 29.
Randall Scott Jordan