DIRECT EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL DeGUGLIELMO BY MR. FOGLEMAN
I am a director of forensic analysis for Genetic Design. Genetic Design is a genetic testing company that specializes in human identification. We do testing primarily in three areas. I am responsible for a forensic lab which tests
primarily criminal cases and some cases involving parentage where there are deceased individuals. We also have a parentage testing lab which does primarily parentage testing for Social Security for the agencies and also we do bone marrow tissue typing for transplants. (TR 2166) (The witness was submitted as an expert in his field without objection by either defense attorney.) In the course of my duties with Genetic Design I received a number of items from either the Arkansas State Crime Lab or the West Memphis Police Department for analysis. Among those items I received samples of the victims' blood which would be James Michael Moore, Chris Byers, Steven Branch. I also received what were labeled by the Crime Lab as Q-4 and Q-39 -- as possible tissue from some ligatures. Our lab does DNA testing specifically in criminal cases, and there are two basic types of DNA testing. Those two types of testing are decided based upon the evidence in any given case and the amount of evidence that we actually have to work with. (TR 2167) The first type is what is referred to as restriction fragment length polymorphisims or RFLP, and that's the more conventional DNA testing that as things stand right now we would prefer to do in every case because we can gain more information from it. However, we require a certain amount of DNA in order to be able to do that test. In this case these items in particular contain very, very small quantities of DNA, if any detectable DNA. Because of that, we used the second type of DNA testing called PCR
analysis. It works where there are small minute amounts to work with, but unfortunately it is not quite as informative as the traditional type testing. In this case we performed two separate PCR based tests to try to differentiate between the various items of evidence. There are results of the tests performed on the items Q-4 an Q-39, the possible tissue from the ligatures. Those two items failed to reveal the presence of any detectable amounts of DNA. The first portion of the analysis is for us to remove the DNA from the items and to try to get an idea of how much is there that we have to work with. The quantitation that we do is a rough approximation. It gives us a general idea, but in this particular case there was no detectable DNA there from those items. (TR 2168) There was no detectable DNA from this possible tissue which means several things. First, it might not have been a human specimen. It might have been any number of things that you would find on items of evidence that are exposed to the environment, or it could have been human tissue that was either too small and degraded so that we were not able to obtain DNA from it. Unfortunately, any biological material when exposed to various conditions will start to decompose and degrade, and the DNA contained in it will decompose an degrade as well. And if that occurs, especially in very small specimens, sometimes it's not possible to detect anything that would have been there. We also examined some cuttings submitted by Channel which were labeled as Q6, which came from
Exhibit 48, and Q-10 coming from Exhibit 45, some pants or jeans. We performed the same type of tests on those items that you did on the possible tissue. Those two particular items were submitted to us as we questioned stains. (TR 2169) In evidentiary specimens when we're dealing with questioned stains, we do a slightly different procedure because many times in cases those stains will contain a mixture of seminal material and other potential biological evidence so we do a differential extraction. The purpose of a differential extraction is to separate sperm cells from any other biological material that might be there. To give you the best example, in a typical sexual assault case the evidence will most likely be an item of clothing or vaginal swabs from a female victim. The material contained there will be comprised of two things, epithelial cells from the victim and sperm cells from a potential perpetrator in the case. Our goal would be to separate those two types of cells, and that can be accomplished by taking advantage of certain physical properties of sperm cells that make them different from other cells. In doing so it enables us to more accurately comparethose specimens to the various people we are going to test down the road. We performed the tests on cuttings from the pants. The results of the tests showed that we did recover a small amount of human DNA from those two items. (TR 2170) Particularly, when we do this differential extraction, we separate them into sperm, and nonsperm components, and we in
this test detected small amounts of DNA in the sperm or male component of the two specimens we were testing. It was what we considered to be a marginal amount, meaning it was basically at the threshold of what we might be able to detect using the analysis, but it was definitely DNA that was there. From that we would proceed then with the remainder of the PCR based testing to try to get a type from those particular specimens. Unfortunately, with those items, we were not able to do that. Blue jeans in particular contain, depending on the variety of brands, a number of sizings and different dyes that roughly half and half times will interfere with the enzymatic activity that is required to do the test and when that occurs and we are not able to remove that material from the blue jean that we've gotten the cutting from, what happens is that we are able to get no result from it. Even though the DNA is there, it becomes impossible for what we refer to as amplification to occur because the enzyme can't function in the presence of those inhibitors. When we run these tests, we end up with two what are called fractions. (TR 2171) Epithelial fraction and the sperm fraction. When we ran the tests, we did not find any DNA in the epithelial or nonmale fraction. What I found in the sperm fraction was a small amount of DNA. By a small amount, to be specific, the threshold of limitation for this particular quantitation or measurement of how much DNA there is, is set at what is 50 picrograms of DNA. Now, to give you an idea, a picogram is
part of a metric measurement, just like meters or kilometers or kilograms, and the best way to envision this is that the basic unit of measurement is a gram. That is approximately the size of a dime. When we're talking about DNA, we measure it in micrograms or nanograms or picograms. And a picogram is approximately one trillionth of a gram. The threshold for detection in this test is 50 picograms, or fifty trillionths of a gram. It is an extremely small quantity, but you have to consider that that has to fit inside the individual cells in our body so it by necessity has to be small. (TR 2172) Based on those tests, I have an opinion of the source of the DNA based on the parameters involved in the extraction process. Most likely that the DNA that we were detecting did come from sperm cells, because it showed up in the portion of the analysis where we would expect DNA from sperm cells to show up. Defendant's Exhibit 6 is in one of my boxes. I recognize this knife, because my lab ran tests on that knife. I ran tests on material that we recovered from the knife that looked like this knife that we packed in a box like that. When the knife was received by my firm, we looked at the substance before it was removed. When we received the material on this knife, it was related to us that there was a small amount of what appeared to be blood that was dried or tissue in a crevice in the knife where the knife folds when it locks, and there was definitely a material there. I can't personally say it was blood or tissue or that it was dirt from actually
looking at it. (TR 2173) Somehow we removed the substance and then we ran some tests on it. There was DNA present on the knife and that we were able to get a type using a test called HLA DQ Alpha from that particular specimen. The DQ Alpha is the most sensitive test that we run. When we are using PCR based testing, HLA DQ Alpha is the first PCR based test that we use and because it is more or less a threshold. It sets a sensitivity level for us as far as what we can detect. We made an attempt to run a test called D-1S-80- We were not able to obtain a result from the specimen when we ran that test on the knife. The DQ Alpha type on the blood from the knife was 1.1,4. (TR 2174) We also have a blood sample from Melissa Byers, Ryan Clark, John Mark Byers, James Michael Moore, and Chris Byers. John Mark Byers had the same DQ Alpha type that was detected from the specimen from the knife. The DQ Alpha type for Chris Byers was also the same type. As far as the DQ Alpha analysis, the blood on the knife and Chris Byers' blood and John Mark Byers, blood all had the same DQ Alpha type.
CROSS EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL DeGUGLIELMO, BY MR. PRICE
On my July 13th, 1993, report it stated that May 24, 1993, we received 10 items of evidence. (TR 2175) Item four, was a blood sample from Echols. We performed an HLA DQ Alpha on the blood sample of Echols and he had a 2,3 HLA DQ Alpha type which is different than the 1.1,4 that I mentioned earlier. The January 27, 1994, report states that on January
10, 1994, we received the knife that I referred to a few moments ago. The number that was previously assigned to that knife was E-178. That was a number that the Arkansas Crime Lab assigned to it before I received this knife directly from Gitchell. My lab did not assign the E-178 to it. (TR 2176) The knife that I referred to came out of this bag which has previously been marked for identification purposes Echols as E-6. The knife that I looked at is the knife when I testified on direct examination that I examined. The box that we returned has been opened so I am under the assumption that is the same knife. It is like the one we packaged. (The State stipulates it is the same knife.) I testified that the small amount of what you thought was either blood or tissue was found on the hinge of the knife. (TR 2177) When the blade is closed, there is a recessed portion of the knife back where the blade actually makes contact with the casing portion of the knife, and the portion that we removed was from that recessed part of the knife where the two come together. We did not find any substance that we tested on the blade of the knife. When we test the items for the DNA testing, that is use specific for human or higher primates. It's generally accepted that it's specific for humans. All the probes are actually specific to higher primates. Based on the test that we did, the item that we found on the knife would not have come from an animal such as a deer.
CROSS EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL DeGUGLIELMO BY MR. FORD
We did not find one thing to connect Baldwin to this homicide. Baldwin was a 1.2,4. (TR 2178)
RECROSS EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL DeGUGLIELMO BY MR. PRICE
My lab charges a certain amount for each test that is performed. We performed 13 tests the initial time. On May 24th and June 7th. The total bill of the lab would have been $4,550.00. There were some other items we sent throughout the rest of the investigation, and the bill for the remaining items was about $3,800.00. Besides those amounts, I charge for testifying in court.
RECROSS EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL DeGUGLIELMO BY MR. FORD
After all that $7,000.00 of reports, we found nothing to connect Baldwin to this crime. None of the things I tested matched Baldwin. (TR 2179)
REDIRECT EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL DeGUGLIELMO BY MR. FOGLEMAN
None of the things matched anybody else's blood type that was submitted other than the item on the knife matching both the victim and John Mark Byers other than a tee shirt that is not involved in this case. There were 2 other items, two different shirts, Q-52 and Q-85, that matched other people. That is the tee shirt not involved in this case. I do not know whose shirt, Q-52, the blood matched. Other than those things, nothing matched anybody, until the knife and the hair specimen.
RECROSS EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL DeGUGLIELMO BY MR. PRICE
None of the items you tested matched Echols. (TR 2180)