I just got a seat on the Red Line train. When standing at the platform, you first see a glimmering reflection of the train lights on the tunnel walls, then you feel the rush of air come through the tunnel as the train approaches.
The many days I’ve gone on too few hours of sleep has kept me from getting the second day of closing arguments typed out and up on the blog. I apologize about that. I was going to work on those notes today at lunch but I grabbed the wrong notebook.
I will try to summarize here a bit of what I remember from DDA Presby’s rebuttal argument.
The DNA analysts told us that contaminated DNA does not turn into someone else’s DNA. What happens is you will get “less information” in the way of DNA results. Jennifer Francis testified the bite mark swab sample was “robust” and contained epithelial cells, amylase.
To believe that the bite mark swab was tampered with in some way or fashion, because there was a tear in the envelope (and the tube supposedly “sticking out” of it, you first have to have someone who has a motive to tamper with evidence. (There were no witnesses or even a suggestion of a witness who might possibly have a motive to frame Lazarus.)
But let’s say you do have someone who has a motive to frame Stephanie Lazarus, think about what they would have had to have done, to get Lazarus’ DNA inside that tube.
They would had to have obtained some of Lazarus’ DNA from a source that was rich in epithelial cells. They would have had to have tailed her. It took the LAPD Internal Affairs surveillance team at least a week to tail her, and they had three people on the detail.
They would somehow, had to have gotten Sherri Rasmussen’s skin cells from something she touched. Sherri Rasmussen was buried a week after her murder.
They would have somehow, obtained entry into the Coroner’s Office. That’s not like a public building or space that anyone can just walk around and enter. Next, they would have had to have found the property/evidence room and gotten by the locked doors.
After that, they would had to have gotten into the locked freezers.
(Although DDA Presby didn’t describe these freezers, I know that they are walk-in type freezers. It’s not a type of freezer like you might have in your garage. These are small rooms. I saw a similar freezer when I toured the Daviz Hertzberg Science Center Crime Lab in 2009. I was not allowed to go into the freezer, but I could see it as part of the tour of the evidence room. There was a window in the door and lights on in there and I could see shelving.)
So the Coroner’s office has four freezers and one refrigerator/freezer. Each the size of a small room. So this person, who wanted to frame Stephanie Lazarus, would have had to clandestinely gotten into the evidence room and found the right freezer where this envelope might be stored. They had the time to look through all the evidence in that freezer, find the right envelope, tore a hole in the envelope and planted evidence inside this tube that had Lloyd Mahaney’s writing on it.
If the individual, supposedly had all the skills to do this, why did they plant this evidence only on one item of evidence? Why didn’t they do that for all the other evidence that was collected? Why didn’t they plant the evidence on the blood stains collected at the scene? On the rope? On the white towel? Why just the bite mark? And at the same time, how did Lazarus’ profile get on the torn fingernails stored at LAPD, not the Coroner’s Office?
Those were some of the arguments presented by DDA Presby in his rebuttal argument.
We have a verdict at 11:30 am
BUZZ! BUZZ! BUZZ!
Matthew McGough and I were sitting under the clock talking to someone who just introduced himself to us and I rushed outside to publish. As soon as I know when they will read the verdict, I'll let you know.
11:34 AM Verdict will be read at 1:30 PM
The Public Information Office informs us the verdict will be read at 1:45 PM
I'm in the cafeteria, trying to wolf down some lunch. I feel quite a bit of nervous energy in my stomach right now. Matthew must be feeling something similar as he is barely touching his sandwich.
Matthew McGough introduced me to one of the initial detectives on the case who came down to hear the verdict.
Matt and I are headed upstairs to ensure we get our seats. I'm going to try to get on an aisle end so I can rush out and publish as soon as we hear the verdict.