SKOWHEGAN (AP) – Scientific evidence presented Tuesday in the murder trial of Olland Reese supports the state’s theory that 16-year-old Cody Green was slain inside the Bowdoin home where the defendant was living.

Catherine MacMillin, a DNA analyst at the state crime laboratory in Augusta, told jurors that Green’s DNA was found in a sample taken from a bloodstained hallway wall, from a blood-soaked futon in the living room, and from a hatchet found inside the residence.

The DNA samples from the wall and the futon were perfect matches with Green’s DNA, while the hatchet sample, though less than perfect, still indicated a one-in-45 billion chance it was someone else’s DNA, MacMillin testified.

Reese, 20, is accused of murdering Green, who disappeared May 26, 2002, before burying her body behind his mother’s home. The Brunswick teen died from a blow to the skull.

Evidence from the trial in Somerset County Superior Court has shown Reese gave police several accounts of what happened the night Green was seen alive.

While questioning forensic witnesses on Tuesday, defense lawyer Andrews Campbell suggested investigators overlooked key evidence and crime lab workers contaminated crucial evidence.

Police investigators admitted they overlooked the bloodstained hallway wall during their first search of Trudy Bither’s home, as well as the futon mattress and hatchet.

“I had a little tunnel vision because I thought she had died from a gunshot wound,” said Maine State Police Detective David Tripp.

Tests conducted in March of the duct tape used to tie Green’s hands found the DNA of a crime lab employee who’d been assigned to test for fingerprints, MacMillin said.

“In my opinion, it’s a serious problem,” she admitted. “But because we are human, we make errors.”

Reese faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of murder.

AP-ES-07-16-03 1003EDT



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