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TrueAllele helps convict cold-case killer in Nebraska

Omaha, NE

In 2007, Joy Blanchard was murdered in her Omaha home. Male DNA linked an unspecified nephew to a staircase spindle used to beat her. Then the case went cold.

In 2016, TrueAllele® computing proved it was Charles Simmer, not his brother, who had left DNA on a doorknob and a knife, mixed with his aunt's DNA.

Deputy County Attorney Amy Jacobsen said, "The TrueAllele results and testimony added clarity to a complicated decade-old cold case. TrueAllele picked up where traditional DNA testing results left off. The jury was able to have a clearer picture of all the evidence in the case."

District Court Judge Otepka ruled that TrueAllele was reliable science. Then Dr. Mark Perlin of Cybergenetics testified about the DNA mixture results. He explained to the jury how TrueAllele works. For the doorknob and knife DNA mixtures, Perlin reported match statistics to both victim and defendant.

After four hours, the jury reached a first-degree murder guilty verdict. Charles Simmer will receive an automatic life sentence.


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