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Complex DNA analysis on day 9 of Kaitlyn Conley murder trial

Day nine of the murder trial of Kaitlyn Conley brought complex scientific testimony, as forensic scientists took the stand to testify about their analysis of evidence in the case, compared with DNA samples from the suspect and the victim's family members.

Posted: Dec. 1, 2017 5:04 PM
Updated: Dec. 1, 2017 5:04 PM

(May 5, 2017)

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Day nine of the murder trial of Kaitlyn Conley brought complex scientific testimony, as forensic scientists took the stand to testify about their analysis of evidence in the case, compared with DNA samples from the suspect and the victim's family members.

Conley is accused of using common gout medicine, Colchicine, to poison her boss, local chiropractor Mary Yoder. Forensic Scientist Amy Nestlerode, of the Wallie Howard, Jr. Center for Forensics in Syracuse, testified about her analysis of the vial of Colchicine found in victim Mary Yoder's son, Adam Yoder's vehicle.

"The mixture DNA profile obtained from the vial is at least 1.2 quadrillion times more likely if it originated from Kaityln Conley and two unknown unrelated individuals than if it originated from three unknown unrelated individuals," said Nestlerode, breaking it down further, "This analysis provides suppport that Kaitlyn Conley is a contributor to the DNA profile obtained from the vial."

From victim Mary Yoder's husband, William Yoder, and their son, Adam, different results.

"Adam Yoder is excluded as a possible contibutor of the DNA profile obtained from the vial," said Nestlerode, adding, "No conclusion can be determined as to whether Wiliam Yoder is a contributor to the DNA profile obtained."

Defense attorney Christopher Pelli asked whether the fact that someone's DNA was present somewhere necessarily meant that that person was there, or handled the item.

"Wouldn't it be possible, then, to also secondarily transfer my DNA from you to that cardboard box?" asked Pelli. "Yes," responded Moorehead.

Also on the stand Thursday, Oneida County Sheriff's Department Lt. Robert Nelson, who told jurors why Adam Yoder left town so abruptly in December, 2015, five months after Yoder's mother died, to stay with his sister on Long Island.

"After the interview with Adam when we were done with that and finding the item in his car and what the letter stated, at that time, I asked Adam...I wanted him to leave the area," said Nelson, adding, "I asked him to leave as soon as he could, and he did." As Nelson began to explain why he wanted Adam Yoder to leave town so suddenly, the defense objected and the judge sustained the objection, so his reasoning remained unknown.

Court wrapped up early Thursday-a little before 1pm. Court resumes Friday at 10am. So far, 35 of the prosecution's 50 witnesses have taken the stand. Three of them have testified more than once.

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