DNA evidence called into question

The validity of DNA evidence from a Thruway toll ticket allegedly handled by Christopher Porco was called into question by attorneys handling the case for the murder suspect.

Dr. Terry Melton, DNA expert and founder of Mitotyping Technology of State College, Pa., said the toll ticket she extracted for DNA partially matched an unknown sample of DNA given to her by authorities.

The only one that DNA matched with those 85 base pairs is sitting right here and that's Christopher Porco, is that correct? asked Assistant District Attorney David Rossi firmly.

"Yes," said Melton.

The DNA swab tested was analyzed through an FBI database of 4,839 samples, and her company concluded that 99.61 percent of the names in the North American database would not be expected to have the same DNA profile as that of the individual whose DNA was left on the toll ticket.

"Less than .039 percent of North Americans have that same base profile," Melton testified.

Much of the company's scientific research is based on complex statistical analysis. Melton did not rule out the possibility that the DNA on the toll ticket could be someone's other than Christopher Porco's.

Defense Attorney Terence Kindlon called Melton's assessments nothing more than a magic act.

"I feel like we are in the room with the sorcerer's apprentice," said Kindlon while the jury was not present.

Eight other individuals DNA along with Christopher Porco's DNA were tested to see if there were other partial or full matches from the same toll ticket tested. None of the eight matched, but Kindlon pointed out to the jury that five of those eight results were inconclusive.

"Is it true you were not able to exclude five others in the testing?" Kindlon asked.

"We had inclusive results," Melton responded.

"You were not able to exclude them, were you?" Kindlon repeated.

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