Po­lice DNA lab hear­ing de­layed

Austin American-Statesman - - LOCALBRIEFING -

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

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