TrueAllele solves uninterpretable DNA in mother and daughter double homicide

Back to Trials

People of New York v John Wakefield

Amp cord ties strangler to victim

Crime On April 12, 2010, Brett Wentworth (41) was found dead in his Wendell Avenue apartment in Schenectady.
Evidence Wentworth was strangled with a cord from a guitar amplifier. There had been a struggle, so biological evidence was collected from the victim's shirt collar and forearm.
DNA The New York State Police crime lab examined DNA from the amp cord, shirt collar, forearm, and many other items.
Match The crime lab's subjective interpretation of the DNA mixture data did not produce meaningful match statistics to defendant John Wakefield.
TrueAllele Separating the mixtures, TrueAllele® found that a match between the amp cord and Wakefield was 5.9 billion times more probable than coincidence. TrueAllele also linked Wakefield to the shirt collar (170 quintillion) and forearm (56 million).
Cybergenetics    TrueAllele was admitted into evidence after a Frye hearing in October of 2014. In March, Dr. Mark Perlin testified at the trial about DNA match statistics connecting Wakefield to the crime.
Outcome On March 20, 2015, a Schenectady jury convicted Wakefield of murdering Brent Wentworth. In May, Wakefield was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

  • Cops, family vexed by death Time Union
  • Wanted: More clues on killing Time Union
  • Family of Brett Wentworth continues the search for answers in his murder News 10 ABC
  • Murder suspect is arraigned Times Union
  • DNA test put on trial Times Union
  • Judge: Schenectady DNA testimony will be allowed Times Union
  • DNA expert links man to Schenectady murder Times Union
  • Wakefield found guilty in Schenectady murder The Daily Gazette
  • DNA technology crucial in murder conviction of John Wakefield Times Union
  • John Wakefield sentenced to life for Schenectady murder Times Union

    Cybergenetics News
    • New York court admits TrueAllele after Frye challenge Press Release
    • DNA technology crucial in murder conviction of John Wakefield Newsroom
    • Wakefield sentenced to life in prison for murder in upstate New York Newsroom

      Admissibility Decision