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Accused’s DNA found on handkerchief with GSR

A handkerchief seized from the bed of a man accused of murder had gunshot residue and his DNA on it, a Supreme Court jury heard yesterday.

Barbara Llewellyn, an expert in forensic DNA, told the court that the handkerchief contained DNA from a “mixture of two people”.

She added: “The major component of this mixture matched the profile of Kiari Tucker.”

Mr Tucker, 22, denies the murder of Morlan Steede in the Deepdale area of Pembroke on November 3, 2017.

The trial earlier heard that several pieces of men's clothing had been taken by police in a search at Mr Tucker's home the day after the shooting.

Dr Llewellyn said that probability of the DNA being from anyone other than Mr Tucker was “one in at least 192 octillion individuals”.

She added: “This would be 192 plus 25 zeros.”

Dr Llewellyn said that an analysis had also been carried out on a cutting from the pocket area of a pair of pants that had been seized.

She added that the material had a “low-level mix DNA profile”.

However, Dr Llewellyn said: “It did not contain enough information for me to make a comparison.”

She said that a swab from a seized sneaker did not contain any DNA.

Dr Llewellyn said the lack of DNA from the shoe could be explained by the owner wearing socks.

She added that bacteria that could grow in shoes could also degrade DNA.

Dr Llewellyn agreed with Susan Mulligan, for the defence, that just because someone's DNA was found on clothing did not necessarily mean that it had been worn by that person.

The jury earlier heard that police had also seized a mobile phone from Mr Tucker's home.

John McWeeney, a radio frequency expert, said that activity on a phone could be used to help locate where it had been used.

He explained: “A record is made identifying the cell site that the customer is located next to.”

Mr McWeeney said that there were about 30 cell site locations across Bermuda.

He said that a call on the seized mobile phone at about 9.51pm of the night Mr Steede was killed had been picked up by a cell site at Prospect, “meaning the user has to have been in the location served ... which includes the area of interest at the junction between Deepdale Road and Parsons Road”.

But lawyer Elizabeth Christopher, who also appeared for Mr Tucker, said that the Prospect cell site covered a larger area.

She added: “That phone could be anywhere ... and not just the murder scene.” Mr McWeeney said she was correct.

Ms Christopher asked if that cell site evidence gave a precise location for a phone user.

Mr McWeeney said: “The location information is more generic.

“It is an area — it is not a pinpoint location.”

The trial continues.

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Published May 28, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated May 28, 2019 at 10:43 am)

Accused’s DNA found on handkerchief with GSR

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