Crime lab techs testify in Miller murder trial

LISBON – Testimony by Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII) technicians on Friday linked the blood DNA of Matthew Bailey to blood found in the vehicle driven by Christopher Miller, who is on trial this week charged with aggravated murder in Bailey’s death.

Lindsey Pruenski and Emily Feldenkris, both forensic scientists with BCII, testified about the blood analyzed in the case.

Pruenski’s job includes finding potential blood evidence on items, determining if it is blood and then providing samples of the blood found to the DNA technician. Feldenkris analyzed the DNA.

Pruenski said she pulled blood evidence from several places. She found a stain about one inch by three inches on the inside of a thermal shirt worn by Miller. Feldenkris later testified the blood had Bailey’s DNA.

Pruenski also provided several samples from reddish brown stains on Miller’s boots. Only one of the samples was tested, but Feldenkris said that also tested as Bailey’s blood.

Likewise, Bailey’s blood was confirmed on the door jam and in a mixture of DNA found on the seat belt buckle of the vehicle of Miller’s girlfriend, Patti Colon. Bailey’s blood was also found on a towel, which was tested.

However, a pair of coveralls believed worn by Miller tested only to have his DNA on it in any large amounts.

Attempting to discredit the DNA evidence, defense attorney Charley Kidder questioned whether protocol was followed in the testing of the evidence, which Feldenkris noted it was. He also asked both women to identify the person who collected the evidence, and they said it was collected by Special Agent Larry Hootman.

When Hootman had testified on Thursday, Kidder had pointed out two steps Hootman had not taken in order to properly test and preserve evidence integrity during the use of a chemical known as Blue Star.

Kidder also asked the scientists if their analysis allows them to be able to tell when the blood DNA was placed there or how old it was. Both noted they could not tell.

Jurors also viewed a video deposition by a third BCII analyst, Joann Gibb, who looked at several cell phones and memory cards given to her in relation to the case. She was able to find two of the cell phones had the same phone number assigned to them. One cell phone had a different SD card than what it originally came with, because it had Android apps, which were not compatible with the phone. One cell phone she was unable to analyze because it was locked. She was able to pull pictures, videos and audio files off some of the devices.