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KGET television news reports Cybergenetics DNA technology helps convict criminals

Bakersfield, CA

Prosecutors are hailing new DNA technology that helped secure two convictions in a string of recent robberies. The new TrueAllele® Casework system made its debut in a Kern County courtroom this month. Charles Lawton and Dupree Langston might have gotten away with robbing a Check Advance Store if they hadn't planted a bare hand on a countertop before vaulting over. In a fraction of a second, Langston's sweaty palm touched the counter, and transfered a minute amount of DNA that led to his conviction.

"That used to be the biggest problem, when you had a mixture of profiles. And so you couldn't pull out who was in there," said Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman of the Kern County District Attorney's Office. TrueAllele is high-powered computer software that uses mathematical formulas to sort through DNA evidence. This was the first use of TrueAllele west of the Mississippi.

"In those cases, we'd have to say the DNA profiles were inconclusive in our analysis. With TrueAllele, we don't have to say that any longer," said Dr. Kevin Miller, Director of the Kern Regional Crime Lab. "We're talking about touch DNA, DNA that has been out in the field for a while and may be degraded. We're talking about missing persons cases," said Dr. Miller. "With newer technologies, we're able to give more definitive answers."

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