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State of Tennessee v Roy Coons, Jr.

TrueAllele finds child killer’s DNA on window frame

Crime On August 10, 2017, 12-year-old Yhoana Arteaga was found dead in her bedroom after being beaten and strangled, allegedly with a karate belt.
Evidence DNA was collected from karate belts, the victim’s body, clothing, and bedding, a cigarette butt, and an inside window frame of the victim’s home.
DNA The Metro Nashville Police Department Crime Laboratory developed DNA mixture data from the evidence items.
Match Too many family members could have mixed their DNA on the items. Sophisticated mixture interpretation was needed to tease them apart.
TrueAllele The computer compared the inside window frame against ten people, connecting Roy Coons with a 332 million match statistic.
Cybergenetics    On July 8, 2019, DNA analyst Jennifer Hornyak testified before a Davidson County jury about the TrueAllele results.
Outcome The next week, the jury found Mr. Coons guilty of second-degree murder, felony murder, attempted child rape, and aggravated criminal burglary. The judge sentenced him to life in prison for murder, plus 25 years for attempted rape.
Media

  • Neighbor arrested in "brutal" slaying of Nashville girl Yhoana Arteaga, 12 CBS News
  • Suspect in brutal killing of 12-year-old Yhoana Arteaga pleads not guilty Tennessean
  • Victim's mother, sister testify in second day of murder trial News 4 Nashville
  • Roy Coons Jr. convicted of killing 12-year-old girl News Channel 5 Nashville
  • Yhoana's mother, district attorney react after jury finds Coons guilty News 4 Nashville
  • Coons sentenced 25 years on top of life sentence for murder of 12-year-old girl Fox 17