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State of Florida v Lajayvian Daniels

Computer connects suspect to charred clothing

Crime In May 2014, a Palm Beach County gas station was robbed at gunpoint. Clerk Shihab Mahmud (22) was shot and killed during the incident.
Evidence Charred clothing, a charred hat, and a pair of sneakers were found within a mile of the crime scene.
DNA The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office crime lab developed DNA mixture data from the clothing, hat, and sneakers.
Match Due to the degraded nature of the data, the lab was unable to fully interpret some mixtures.
TrueAllele The computer separated the five DNA mixture items into genotypes. Comparing the clothing and sneaker results with the defendant produced match statistics ranging from the millions to quadrillions.
Cybergenetics    Before the trial, TrueAllele withstood an admissibility challenge. On February 4, 2019, DNA analyst Jennifer Hornyak testified before a Palm Beach County jury about the TrueAllele results.
Outcome On February 7, 2019, Mr. Daniels was found guilty of first-degree murder and robbery. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Media

  • Alleged gunman on trial in slaying of gas station clerk in 2014 South Florida Sun Sentinel
  • Man killed in Wellington was chasing American dream, brother says Palm Beach Post
  • Jury weighs DNA evidence in 2014 gas station clerk killing by masked gunman South Florida Sun Sentinel
  • Lajayvian Daniels convicted of murder, robbery in 2014 gas station killing in Wellington WPTV
  • Man found guilty of murder, robbery in death of Wellington gas station clerk WPBF
  • Jury finds man guilty in 2014 Wellington gas station fatal shooting Palm Beach Post