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Wakefield sentenced to life in prison for murder in upstate New York
A Schenectady man was sentenced to life in prison without parole on May 27. John Wakefield had been convicted of strangling Brett Wentworth in his home with a guitar amplifier cord. DNA mixtures on the cord, as well as the victim’s clothing and skin, tied Wakefield to the murder. The state crime lab could not resolve the mixtures, so the prosecutor asked Cybergenetics to solve the problem. TrueAllele separated the DNA mixture data into the genotypes of Wentworth and Wakefield. Following a successful Frye hearing in October, TrueAllele was admitted into evidence and Cybergenetics’ Dr. Mark Perlin testified in March about the match results.
Cybergenetics has assisted many District Attorney offices in upstate New York, working on over fifteen cases with DNA mixtures. These violent crimes are typically murder or rape, including campus, serial and daughter rape. When a crime lab declares a mixture inconclusive, that can be the starting point for more informative data analysis. TrueAllele often brings DNA back into evidence, facilitating a guilty plea. Dr. Perlin has testified about TrueAllele DNA match results in Elmira, Rochester, Schenectady and Syracuse.