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Pennsylvania appeals court affirms Cybergenetics TrueAllele admissibility for DNA mixture evidence in Foley case
Today the Pennsylvania Superior Court unanimously affirmed the judgment of sentence in the Kevin Foley case. State trooper Foley was convicted of the brutal first-degree murder of Dr. John Yelenic, and sentenced to life imprisonment in Indiana County on June 1, 2009. The trial judge had admitted the testimony of Cybergenetics Chief Scientist Dr. Mark Perlin, who served as a Commonwealth DNA expert. Foley had disputed the admissibility of the expert's DNA match results obtained from biological mixture evidence using the "new" probabilistic TrueAllele® computer technology.
Faced with a Frye challenge to the Cybergenetics scientist, the appellate court determined that the expert's testimony did not involve novel science, and therefore was properly admissible. This decision supports the legitimacy and advancement of the new computerized TrueAllele methodology for performing DNA match probability calculations. The computer can produce results significantly more precise and accurate than conventional manual data review. This legal development in DNA identification science should benefit criminal investigators and prosecutors, and help exonerate the innocent.