Defense Asks for Dismissal in Murder Case Based on Destroyed DNA Evidence  

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A defense attorney in a murder trial asked DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan to dismiss a case because key DNA evidence was destroyed.

The suspect, 21-year-old Daquan Gray, is charged with fatally shooting 15-year-old Jaylyn Wheeler, on May 16, 2018, in the 600 block of Alabama Avenue, SE. According to court documents, DNA extracts were taken from the murder weapon and tested at the DC Department of Forensic Sciences. 

During a March 24 motions hearing, a specialist from the department testified about possible damage to DNA evidence that may have been improperly stored.  The expert witness explained the process of packing, storing, and shipping DNA extracts. 

Claiming gross negligence, defense attorney Dana Page asked Judge Raffinen to dismiss the case based on destroyed evidence as of Jan. 5, 2023. She accused the prosecution of acting in  bad faith in handling the material.

Testimony in the case is scheduled to resume on May 12.

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