Conviction overturned in D.C. killing
A District man’s conviction for murder in the 2004 death of a cab driver was overturned Thursday.
The D.C. Court of Appeals overturned Eric R. Gardner’s first-degree murder conviction in the fatal shooting of of Andrew B. Kamara, 50, saying results from a DNA test admitted as evidence were improperly submitted because defense attorneys were not allowed to question a DNA expert who testified to the findings.
In a 12-page ruling, the ruled that D.C. Superior Court Judge James Boasberg erred in allowing DNA evidence in Gardner’s trial.
The court found that Gardner’s defense was not given an opportunity to cross-examine two DNA technicians who linked a small blood stain on Gardner’s jacket to Kamara.
Admitting the DNA technician’s testimony and report, the court ruled, was a violation of Gardner’s Sixth Amendment right. As a result, the court ruled that the forensic evidence was improperly admitted.
Because there was no eyewitness to the shooting and Gardner’s fingerprints were not found on the murder weapon, the court ruled, the DNA evidence was key to a jury’s finding Gardner guilty of first-degree felony murder while armed, second-degree murder while armed and attempted robbery.
Gardner, now 28, was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
“Without the evidence that the appellant had the victim’s blood on his clothing,” the judges wrote, “it is certainly not clear beyond a reasonable doubt that a rational jury would have found the defendant guilty absent the error.”
Last month, President Obama nominated Boasberg to fill a judicial vacancy on the U.S. District Court.
Gardner’s attorneys, with the District's Public Defender Service, also filed the appeal.
-- Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Editors
July 9, 2010; 11:08 AM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse , Homicide , Keith L. Alexander , The District
Save & Share: Previous: Arrest in D.C. woman's April death
Next: Va. man dead in Silver Spring shooting
Posted by: kglkgl06 | July 9, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: demtse | July 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MarilynManson | July 9, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kahlua87 | July 9, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.