Prosecution and Defense Argue Over Validity of Evidence in Murder Case

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In a Sept. 29 jury trial, the prosecution presented photos and DNA evidence tying a defendant to murder. The defense refuted these claims, asserting that the evidence is only circumstantial.

Darnell Sterling, 57, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on July 24, 2020, in connection to the sudden disappearance of his girlfriend, 34-year-old Olga Ooro. Sterling was allegedly the last person seen with Ooro before she was reported missing the week before.

During the trial on Thursday, two expert witnesses took the stand. One displayed photos captured from Ooro’s apartment, where the murder is alleged to have occurred, while the other discussed the results of DNA tests.

A carpet cutting collected from the rear center of Sterling’s car reportedly contained “male DNA” that “cannot be visually excluded as the defendants.”

In addition to a carpet cutting, forensic scientists also conducted DNA testing  of blood found on the right wall of Ooro’s apartment. Tests revealed the presence of a female contributor that a scientist said matches Ooro’s DNA

The prosecution used this evidence to suggest that Sterling killed Ooro. They also used security footage from the night of her disappearance to further corroborate this argument.

Security footage from the night of July 17, 2020, shows a black man who reportedly resembles Sterling exiting the elevator of Ooro’s apartment with a cart. The cart appears to be holding a body-shaped figure wrapped in a blanket.Sterling is then seen placing this item in his car. 

In response to the prosecution’s claims that Sterling murdered his girlfriend, his defense attorney, Howard McEachern, stated that their assertions are “so devoid of evidence for the court to even consider a charge.” 

DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan set the trial to resume on Sept. 30.

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