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Defense expert offers different DNA scenario

— McDermott objected to Shields being an expert witness for the defense, but his testimony was admitted by Judge Jeffrey Berry. McDermott told Berry he did not receive Shields' report until the night before his testimony, and asked for more of the professor's notes to support his research. The witness said his notes were in the car, and jurors had to wait several minutes for someone from the defense team to retrieve Shields' notes.

McDermott said even if Shields theory was used, and compared Porco's DNA base profile to the Caucasian-only base profiles in the FBI database, you would still come up with only 1 percent of the people matching Porco's profile. Prosecutors are trying to convince the jury that the DNA sample tested on the toll ticket from Nov. 15, 2004 matches Christopher Porco's DNA, which would link the defendant to the murder of his father and attack on his mother.

Shields agreed that Melton is an excellent forensic scientist, and said he just happens to disagree with the data compiled in the Porco case.

"She and her crew perform some of the best mitochondrial DNA testing in this country," said Shields. "I think in this case she just interpreted the numbers wrong."

Shields has testified for the defense in many famous cases, including the Scott Peterson and O.J. Simpson trials.

"You testify about once a month," said McDermott.

"That's probably accurate," said Shields.

"Did you testify in the Unabomber case?" McDermott asked.

"I consulted in the Unabomber case," answered Shields.

Defense Attorney Terence Kindlon stood by his witness, and said his testimony is another example of Christopher Porco's innocence.

"I think this testimony, quite frankly, is game over," said Kindlon. "The overall point is Dr. Melton cooked her results."

McDermott, however, said Shields' theories are not accepted by any DNA experts.

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