DNA on pants matches Despres and dead couple, expert testifies
Pants found in a shopping cart behind a clothing store in St. Stephen, N.B., contained DNA material that matchedstabbing victims Fred Fulton, Verna Decarie and the man accused of killing them, a DNA expert testified Tuesday.
RCMP forensic specialist Joy Kearsey told Gregory Allan Despres's first-degree murder trial in Fredericton that she found several bloodstains on the outside front of the pants that matched Fulton's DNA and at least one stain that matched DNA samples from Decarie.
Kearsey also found at least three examples of DNA material on the pants that matched samples from Despres.
Earlier in the trial, Crown witness Donald Phillips testified that he saw a man matching Despres's description changing his pants behind a St. Stephen clothing store between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on April 25, 2005. He said the man dropped the navy blue pants into a shopping cart and left them behind.
Witness retrieved pants
Phillips, who owns a nearby furniture store, said he later heard on the news that a murder suspect had crossed into the United States border at St. Stephen, so he called the police. Phillips then retrieved the cart, with the pants in it,and kept it in his store until police arrived.
Despres, 24, is on trial for murder in the April 23, 2005, killings of Fulton, 74, and Decarie, 70, who were his neighbours in the central New Brunswick community of Minto.
Decarie was stabbed more than 30 times, and Fulton was beheaded. Fulton's daughter discovered the bodies in their home three days after the killings.
Despres, who crossed the border at Calais, Maine, on April 25, 2005, was arrested by Massachusetts police, who seized his all of his belongings.
Despres has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and his trial is in its third week.
Kearsey testified that she also analyzed DNA from a dagger that police found with the bodies in the Fulton home.She told the court she found DNA material that matches Despres on the handle of the dagger, underneath some tape.
Kearsey also told the court that blood samples taken from various rooms of the Fulton home, including the mudroom floor, the bedroom, the kitchen, and outside on the back deck, matches both victims.
Testimony continues Tuesday afternoon.