Friday, August 20, 2010

Key conclusions in murder conviction rejected

From the Richmond Times Dispatch on-line: "Conclusions from forensics evidence that helped convict Wyatt Ward Hollar of murder two years ago were rejected this year after supervisors in the state Department of Forensic Science reviewed them.

That revelation came during testimony yesterday, on the third day of a retrial of Hollar's October 2008 murder conviction in the death of his girlfriend.

The forensics supervisors testified that the prior tests had been incomplete, did not follow procedure, missed the presence of telltale gunpowder particles and used inappropriate fabric in an attempt to judge how far from the victim's body a fatal gunshot might have been fired.

That evidence is key in determining whether Danielle Wilson committed suicide or whether Hollar fatally shot her.

Wilson died in Hollar's Glenside Drive apartment from a single bullet wound to the chest Feb. 11, 2007. The two had been dating seriously for just a matter of weeks; the fatal gunshot followed a night of arguing and alcohol.

The reversal for prosecutors came yesterday from top-ranking forensics department witnesses called by the defense.

The witnesses testified that conclusions and results stemming from forensic tests conducted on the .45 caliber weapon found near Wilson's body and on a lacy, black tube-top garment she wore the night of her death could not be duplicated.

And the jury heard that the expert who conducted the earlier tests, Scott Glass, has been let go by the bureau for a failure to follow procedures in cases other than Hollar's ..."

Click here to continue reading the story.


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