Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 09/17/2013 7:36 PM
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.
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.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Synagogue serves up some Christmas meals and cheer
Warm temperatures in Manitoba for Christmas
Santa, sleigh on course: NORAD
Man, 45, missing since Monday
Guests welcomed with open arms at Christmas Feast in the West End
Other alleged victims for therapist charged with assault
RCMP charge more than dozen impaired drivers
No charges laid in fatal collision
Ashton promises referendum
Election guru backs Oswald
Humans of the Holidays (in Winnipeg)
Break-in on top of her grieving
Chance of snow today, Thursday
Gang associate gets 11 years for assaults
Gary Effect embraces giving spirit
No snow means no go for some
For some First Nations people, like Tina Fontaine’s family, grieving is part of the yuletide season
FP reporter wins award
Openings, closings over the Christmas week
Take a minute to brighten the holidays
National Microbiology Laboratory hires new director
Mild weather not saving city hall any money on snow-clearing budget
Gang member gets 11 years for paralyzing attack on rival
Sisters give back to community in honour of father
Balagus believes Oswald best choice
Local skiiers not enjoying lack of snow this season
RCMP officer faces drug and weapons charges
Police charge 12 drunk drivers
Ashton pledges referendum on PST
Free Press reporter wins Amnesty International media award
Sex offender considered likely to re-offend
Manitoba Hydro warns of outages in Westman and Parkland regions
Kostyshyn replaces Ashton in cabinet
Team Oswald lands experienced operatives for roster
Equipment problems to blame as service down for eight hours: MTS