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State of Nebraska v Charles Simmer

DNA connects nephew to grisly murder

Crime On November 3rd, 2007, Joy Blanchard was found dead with two knives stuck in the back of her neck.
Evidence Swabs were taken from the house’s interior door knob as evidence. Police also collected the two knives.
DNA The University of Nebraska Medical Center developed DNA data from the evidence items.
Match The data provided too little information for the lab's interpretation methods.
TrueAllele On the same data, the computer was able to find match statistics connecting Charles Simmer to the crime scene. Simmer matched the knives with a statistic of 3.71 thousand, and the doorknob with a statistic of 4.22 quintillion.
Cybergenetics    On Feb 28, 2018, following an earlier Daubert hearing Dr. Mark Perlin testified before an Omaha jury.
Outcome The jury found Simmer guilty of first degree murder. Simmer sentenced to life in prison on April 30, 2018.
Media

  • Grisly details revealed in 2007 cold case murder; bond set 3NewsNow
  • Bail set at $10 million for Charles Simmer, accused in 2007 slaying of his aunt, Joy Blanchard Omaha World-Herald
  • Daughter speaks out after cousin is arrested for her mom’s murder WOWTNews
  • Trial begins for man charged in the 2007 slaying of his aunt in Omaha Omaha World-Herald
  • Man convicted of 2007 slaying of aunt in Omaha 1011 Now
  • Omaha man is sentenced to life in prison for 2007 slaying of his aunt Omaha World-Herald