Back to Newsroom
Martell Chubbs pleads no contest to second degree murder in cold case murder of teenage mother
Long Beach, CA
Defendant Martell Chubbs (56) pleaded no contest to second degree murder in the killing of 17 year old "Shelly H." In the 1977 Christmastime slaying, the victim’s 13 month old daughter was found alive next to her dead mother. Chubbs was linked to the crime through a 2012 DNA database hit.
Cybergenetics TrueAllele® technology provided a DNA match statistic of a quintillion (a 1 followed by 18 zeros) connecting Chubbs with the victim. TrueAllele software objectively "unmixes" mixed DNA data, and calculates accurate DNA match statistics. Chubbs request for TrueAllele source code was denied by the California Court of Appeals.
Dr. Mark Perlin, a Cybergenetics DNA expert witness, had been working for two years without payment on the crucial TrueAllele evidence. "After meeting the grown daughter of the victim in a Long Beach courtroom in 2014," said Dr. Perlin, "I just knew we had to stay in this case." He worked closely with Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Karen Brako to help bring closure to the homicide.
The source code discovery request was a defense ruse, trying to get Dr. Perlin off the case. Scientists test actual computer programs (executable code), not programmer text (source code). TrueAllele has been extensively tested in seven published peer-reviewed validation studies. In the end, Chubbs agreed through his no contest plea that the computer was right, and source code was not needed.