Man sues after DNA mistake leads to arrest
A Denver man has sued crime analysts, claiming he was wrongly arrested and held in jail for two months for a rape charge carrying a possible life sentence after the lab workers mistakenly attached the wrong labels on containers holding DNA.
A federal lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of Shawnnon Hale, 26, by Denver attorneys David Lane and Eudoxie “Dunia” Dickey against Denver crime laboratory analysts Eric Duvall and Brian Pirot, claiming false arrest in violation of his constitutional rights. The charges were dismissed, and Hale was released from jail after the Denver district attorney’s office said his DNA was labeled incorrectly as being part of a rape kit taken during the investigation and said the mistake was akin to “a clerical error.”
The lawsuit says one or
brighton» Police are investigating after a woman was found screaming and with severe head wounds overnight Monday in the parking lot of her townhome complex.
Officers responding just after midnight found the 50-year-old woman lying between two vehicles at the Sterling Park Townhomes, in the 4200 block of East Bromley Lane.
The woman was taken to both of the crime lab analysts allegedly switched vials of DNA taken from a cigarette Hale had smoked with a vial taken from a man who had sex with the alleged victim, the lawsuit says.
Hale is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and a written apology.
The lawsuit accuses the experts of “grossly negligent statements” in an evidentiary report claiming that vaginal DNA samples taken from the victim’s rape kit matched the plaintiff ’s DNA “when in fact it did not.”
Lane said the lab technicians have not apologized for their mistake, but even if they eventually admit they made a mistake, there is no excuse for what they did.
“When you are in that position and someone’s fate is in your hands, honest mistakes are not tolerated,” Lane said.
“You are held to a higher standard.” a hospital for treatment. Information on her condition was not released.
Police have released few details in the case and are asking for the public’s help in determining what happened to the woman. Anyone with information is asked to call 720-685-7336.
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