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State of Tennessee v Demontez Watkins
Computer connects killer to victim’s khaki pants pockets
|On August 6, 2015, Reginald Ford was fatally shot during an attempted robbery outside of his home in Nashville.
|Swabs of the victim’s khaki pants pockets were collected as evidence.
|The Metro Nashville Police Department Crime Laboratory developed DNA mixture data from the victim’s pockets.
|Due to the complexity of the data, the lab was not able to make any determinations about the contributors to the mixture. Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Doug Thurman contacted Cybergenetics for a TrueAllele analysis of the mixture data.
|The computer found that a match between the khaki pants and the defendant, Demontez Watkins, was 470 thousand times more probable than coincidence. The computer also found that the chance of a false positive at this match level was one in 6.1 million.
|Before the trial, Chief Scientist Dr.Mark Perlin testified about TrueAllele reliability at a successful admissibility hearing. On March 27, 2019, DNA analyst Jennifer Hornyak testified before a Davidson County jury about the TrueAllele results.
|On March 29, Mr. Watkins was found guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, and weapons charges.