Dog DNA Inconclusive in Atlanta Murders
Posted Jun 26, 2007 7:23 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The attorney for Wayne Williams says DNA tests of dog hairs recovered from child victims in Atlanta are inconclusive.
Williams was convicted of two of 29 Atlanta slayings that took place over a two-year span, ending in 1981. Prosecutors linked Williams to the crimes by forensic evidence such as blood stains, human and dog hairs, and carpet fibers. DNA testing was not used in criminal investigations at the time.
The Fulton County, Ga., District Attorney is expected to hold a press conference today announcing the results of tests of animal hairs taken from 11 victims, according to the Fulton County Daily Report.
John "Jack" Martin, Williams’ attorney, issued a statement yesterday saying the tests do not conclusively link the hairs to Williams’ German Shepherd mix, Sheba, the legal newspaper says.
“Thousands of dogs in the Atlanta area, including a number of different breeds, possess the type of DNA profile found,” Martin said.
An expert told the newspaper that animal DNA tests are not as discriminating as those done on human evidence because of interbreeding in dogs. Also, it appears Martin was referring to less precise mitochondrial DNA tests, which are done when the hair root is not available.