Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Hair found in blood was suspect's, murder trial hears

  • Print

Jurors hearing a chilling Winnipeg double-homicide case have been introduced to the intricacies and limitations of DNA evidence, and told how hairs found at the scene where two street gang associates were killed link to a man accused of brutally slaying them.

A known DNA sample from Kenneth Roulette matched DNA from hair found by police in a spot of blood inside 729 Maryland St. and to a strand of hair found inside a shroud used to wrap the lifeless body of Dennis Baptiste, an RCMP forensic expert testified Tuesday.

Roulette, 28, is charged with first-degree murder for the deaths of Baptiste and Jessie Henderson, both 23, on Jan. 31, 2009 in a rooming house on Maryland Street.

He has pleaded not guilty and is presumed innocent. His trial is now into its second week.

RCMP forensic scientist and DNA analyst Dr. Gregory Litzenberger told the six-man, six-woman jury his tests of exhibits sent to him by Winnipeg police showed the two hair samples were a match to Roulette's nuclear DNA profile.

But while the hair matched back to Roulette, it wasn't possible for Litzenberger to say how they got where they were found or when.

"Hair is a very transient exhibit relative to other types of the analysis we do," he said. "We're simply saying, 'hair was found on this exhibit,'" said Litzenberger.

Baptiste's common-law wife previously testified she was a "clean freak" and had "vacuumed, mopped and dusted" the apartment the day before the deaths in anticipation of the arrival of a new television set worth $4,449.

Litzenberger further testified a bloodied coat recovered from a Dumpster not far from the crime scene was a "very busy" exhibit with a "complex mixture" of DNA profiles consistent with many people having worn it.

"There's been a lot of people who have been in contact with that coat… in my estimation there is no link between this man (Roulette) and that coat," Litzenberger told defence lawyer Greg Brodsky.

There was no DNA evidence linking Roulette to a bloodied knife recovered at the scene, court heard.

The Crown alleges Roulette stabbed and beat the two Mad Cowz street gang associates after returning with them to the Maryland Street home following a party at a McDermot Avenue hotel suite. He then fled the scene after removing a large TV set and setting a paper fire on the stove, prosecutors allege.

Court has heard testimony from former gang member and drug dealer Philip Asham — once a friend of Roulette's — who said between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. the day of the homicides, Roulette called him to say he "murked" (murdered) "two guys" and wanted help and advice on how to clean up the scene. Asham agreed to give a statement to police in an effort to get out of jail, jurors heard.

The trial continues.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

The Winnipeg Free Press is not accepting comments on this story.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Key of Bart - Four Little Games

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.
  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google