Skip to comments.Head of DNA lab says he and Nifong agreed not to report results
Posted on 12/15/2006 12:00:48 PM PST by nj_pilot
The head of a private DNA laboratory said under oath today that he and District Attorney Mike Nifong agreed not to report DNA results favorable to Duke lacrosse players charged with rape.
Brian Meehan, director of DNA Security of Burlington, said his lab found DNA from unidentified men in the underwear, pubic hair and rectum of the woman who said she was gang-raped at a lacrosse party in March. Nurses at Duke Hospital collected the samples a few hours after the alleged assault. Meehan said the DNA did not come from Reade Seligmann, David Evans, or Collin Finnerty, who have been charged with rape and sexual assault in the case.
Meehan struggled to say why he didnt include the favorable evidence in a report dated May 12, almost a month after Seligmann and Finnerty had been indicted. He cited concerns about the privacy of the lacrosse players, his discussions at several meetings with Nifong, and the fact that he didnt know whose DNA it was.
Under questioning by Jim Cooney, a defense attorney for Seligmann, Meehan admitted that his report violated his laboratorys standards by not reporting results of all tests.
Did Nifong and his investigators know the results of all the DNA tests? Cooney asked.
I believe so, Meehan said.
Did they know the test results excluded Reade Seligmann? Cooney asked.
I believe so, Meehan said.
Was the failure to report these results the intentional decision of you and the district attorney? Cooney asked.
Yes, Meehan replied.
At that answer, several people in the packed courtroom clapped. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III warned the standing-room only crowd to be quiet or leave.
Meehans testimony differed from a statement Nifong made at the beginning of todays hearing.
The first I had heard of this particular situation was when I was served with this particular motion on Wednesday, Nifong told the judge. After court, Nifong clarified his remarks to say that he knew about the DNA results.
"And we were trying to, just as Dr. Meehan said, trying to avoid dragging any names through the mud but at the same time his report made it clear that all the information was available if they wanted it and they have every word of it, Nifong said.
Joseph B. Cheshire V, a lawyer for Evans, said he was troubled by todays testimony.
If any of the lacrosse players were excluded, they simply wouldnt put it in the report, he said. It raises some troublesome questions about (Nifong), who has an obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence and turn it over to the defense.
In a response to reports that the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case gave birth recently, UNC Health care issued a statement at about 1:30 p.m. saying that the woman is at UNC Hospitals for care related to her pregnancy but has not given birth.
Oh, my. This is a confession of criminal activity.
Why is Mike Nifong still a DA?
Nifong should pay restitution to the falsely accused young men for the rest of his life.
Because of Democrats.
Whoa-a-a-a, subornation of evidence is a felony in most states...isn't it (seeking legal opinion from some of you FReeper lawyers).
Nifong belongs in prison
Ant DA who would purposefully prosecute someone he knows to be innocent of the charges is someone so low, so ciminal and so degraded that no punishment less than double the punishment that would been inflicted on the innocent should be considered inflicted on the DA.
After this every single case that Nifong prosecuted will be under appeal.
Well done, Nifong, you piece of crap.
Nifong will be lucky if he only loses his job over this debacle.
Seemingly no one bothers to verify facts, just run with rumors.
That's "Any DA..." seruzawa, you idiot!
Some kind of conspiracy to help get Nifong reelected.
This is his excuse for not mentioning that all the DNA evidence pointed to people who were NOT named in an indictment. These "unnamed" people who had actually been intimate with the woman were being "protected" from having "their names" dragged through the mud.
Meanwhile, Nifong was dragging the names of the Duke players through the mud.
The DNA lab head is headed for a fall along with his lab. How can anyone have any confidence in his lab after this? Every time they have to go to court on a case this will haunt them. Serves them right.
I'm surprised that this isn't on the desk of our USAG.
Gonzales .... you out there anywhere?????????????
Is it my imagination or did DA Nifong and DNA lab director Meehan just admit to felonies?
Right idea--wrong word.
1. To induce (a person) to commit an unlawful or evil act. 2. Law a. To induce (a person) to commit perjury. b. To procure (perjured testimony).
The prosecution has a duty to divulge exculpatory evidence pertaining to the defendants. I don't know if withholding such evidence is a felony--more like prosecutorial misconduct.
This is a criminal offense. Nifong is in serious trouble.
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