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DNA analyst testifies at murder trial

Gunshot residue particles were found on both handle grips of a motorbike that prosecutors say was used by a gunman to flee from a murder scene, a court has heard.

Shantoine Prinston Burrows is accused of shooting Rickai Swan dead outside the Southampton Rangers Sports Club last October as well as injuring Mr Swan’s friend, Damiko Gibbons.

Yesterday, jurors were told that Mr Burrow’s DNA was also found on the left handlebar of the motorbike that was found abandoned on Spice Hill Road after the shooting on October 23, 2015.

DNA analyst, Julie Steinhagan, who is based at Strand Analytical Laboratories in Indianapolis, told the court she received four swabs that had been taken from different parts of the motorbike in January 2016 and three months later was sent a buccal sample of Mr Burrows’s DNA.

“The sample from Mr Burrows’s buccal swab was compared to the swab taken from the left grip of the bike,” Ms Steinhagan said.

“We had obtained a major and a minor donor on the left grip. The major donor matches the DNA profile of Shantoine Burrows.”

Ms Steinhagan said there was a one in 17 sextillion chance of finding at random a person with the same DNA in the African-American population.

She confirmed that the other swabs taken from the right handlebar, the rear handle and the wires of the motorcycle did not provide a DNA profile.

Meanwhile, GSR expert Allison Laneve, from the RJ Lee Group in Pennsylvania, told the court that two particles characteristic of GSR were found on the right grip of the motorbike, while one GSR particle was discovered on the left grip.

Ms Laneve also said that she found other particles consistent with GSR on the left and right handlebar that contained two of the three elements that make up GSR.

“I would consider this a population of gunshot residue characteristic particles,” she added.

“Those particles indicate that someone either on or near the vehicle discharged a firearm or someone with GSR on them came into contact with the vehicle.”

Under cross-examination from Mr Burrows’s lawyer, Marc Daniels, Ms Laneve acknowledged she could not say exactly when the GSR was deposited on the handles.

Mr Burrows denies murdering Mr Swan, using a firearm to commit murder, wounding Mr Gibbons with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm and using a firearm to commit that offence.

A second defendant, Taj Browne, 22, denies being an accessory after the fact to murder.

He is alleged to have given Mr Burrows a lift after the shooting.

The trial, which has been under way for six days, continues.

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