Friday, December 15, 2006

Meehan Testifies

Judge Smith has granted the defense DNA motion and ordered Dr. Brian Meehan to testify under oath. Dr. Meehan admitted in court today that he and District Attorney Mike Nifong intentionally decided to not disclose to the defense the results from DNA testing that showed eighteen semen and epithelial fragments did not match any of the indicted players nor their teammates but rather belonged to several other men. Incredibly, Dr. Meehan, whose own DNA appears to have been discovered in the testing, contends the conspiracy to hide the full results was intented was to protect the lacrosse team.

"Brian Meehan, the director of a private lab that tested DNA samples, testified Friday about the testing procedures and the report the lab delivered to Nifong's office, which defense attorneys maintain was incomplete. The defense said the full report showed DNA samples from several men on the woman and her underwear, but none of the genetic material matched any of the players."

"Their motion also said that some of Meehan's own DNA contaminated the sample. Meehan said the lab didn't try to withhold information. He said he and Nifong chose not to release the full report to protect the privacy of lacrosse players who weren't
implicated in the case." WRAL

Update:

In his continued testimony at today's hearing, Dr. Meehan admits that he discussed the test results with District Attorney Nifong as several meetings. Further, Meehan states that Nifong wanted the reports to specifically say only whether the reference samples matched the evidence recovered from the victim. DA Nifong appears to deny Dr. Meehan's allegations by telling the court that he had no knowledge until Wednesday of this week that DNA recovered from the victim did not match the indicted players.
District Attorney Mike Nifong told a judge during today's Duke lacrosse case hearing that he was unaware of DNA that did not match the accused lacrosse players until this week, when defense lawyers included the information in a motion.

The head of a private lab that did the testing said he had discussed testing results with Nifong at several meetings.

Brian Meehan, head of DNA Security, the private lab that did the testing, said the evidence of other DNA was not included in the final report given to Nifong and defense lawyers because of privacy concerns and because he was not asked to provide that.

"Mr. Nifong specifically wanted us to say if the reference specimens matched any of the evidence. That's what we gave him."

Unaware? Didn't know? If Nifong didn't know that there were multiple DNA matches to other men, he may have been the only one following the case to not know and it didn't take any of us several meetings with the director of the lab to find out. Even the "word in the street" seemed to know:

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Good News Is...":

What's the good news??? I know you're kidding...if you think this is the big bombshell?? This thing about multiple dna not being linked to lacrosse players was known 7 months ago. Get real and report real news b/c this is not it.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

So Meehan AND Nifong intentionally withheld evidence of an exculpatory nature? Nifong knew of this evidence according to the testimony reported here, and kept it from the defense based on this half-ass excuse? And this case is not officially over? And Nifong has not been indicted? It just keeps getting more bizarre each and every day!!!

Anonymous said...

"Incredibly, Dr. Meehan, whose own DNA appears to have been discovered in the testing, contends the conspiracy to hide the full results was intented was to protect the lacrosse team."

Who is stupid enough to believe?

Who is brazen enough to pretend to believe it?

Michael J. Gaynor

Anonymous said...

Please tell me the defense burned Meehan a new one for such an insane answer. The entire lacrosse team had been cleared. Their privacy did not need protecting. The only protection Meehan was giving was to Liefong and his evil pursuits.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if Nifong and Meehan weren't looking out for the team. Things might really get ugly then.

Anonymous said...

How can hiding the full results help the lacrosse players? Dr. Meehan and Nifong belong in jail.

WJD said...

Hiding test results that Nifong claimed would exonerate the three. What kind of joke or crime are Meehan and Nifong perpertrating on the court.

bill anderson said...

My question is how a judge can swallow this bullshit whole. He KNOWS that Meehan is lying, and, by implication, Nifong.

People, remember that Nifong already had called the players hooligans, he ordered all of them to take DNA tests, he lied about a "wall of silence" and non-cooperation, and who can forget the "crimestoppers" poster that the N&O sent all over the place?

So, for these people to say under oath in a court of law that they were trying to "protect" these people is simply a lie. So, now we see it full-bore: the prosecution can officially lie in a North Carolina court, lie in broad daylight, lie in a transparent manner, and the judge just takes it all in.

I don't live in North Carolina, but I must ask those reader who do this question: Why do your courts seem to treat hoaxes and false prosecutions with the utmost respect? Why do your judges by default encourage prosecutors to lie? I don't have answers; maybe you NC residents do.

(I am not blaming those NC readers, who obviously are as incensed as I am. I just am wanting an answer that makes sense.)

Anonymous said...

If this testimony doesn't bring the Feds in to investigate, then we're all screwed as a nation that believes in justice and civil rights. Our forefathers are rolling in their grave.

Anonymous said...

Liefong told the judge he was unaware of the new DNA information until Wednesday when defense filed the motion. What a liar! He had the evidence in hand for months.

bill anderson said...

Michael Gaynor,

Thanks for mentioning my articles in your column. Those were very kind words, and I appreciate them.

I had no idea what was going to happen when I started writing on this, and it has taken over my life. (You should see the trash dump that my office has become.)

By the way, I will be on WBAL-Radio as a guest today discussing the lacrosse case. You can bet I will be laying it Liefong.

Again, Michael, thanks so much. And thanks to all of you out there who really do care about what is right and what is wrong.

Anonymous said...

May the threat of a paternity suit was the plan whereby the accuser was expecting to "get paid by the white boys".

Anonymous said...

To 12:24--

Nifong said he was unaware, but that may be worse (although I don't believe it). The detectives were specifically looking for this information to explain the "edema" but now that he has it, he won't say it makes a difference and he wasn't looking for it. It also means that nobody in his office looked at the material relating to the back-up when it was produced and it further means he was outright lying when he said the underlying data would hurt the defendants because HE HAD NEVER SEEN IT. SO EVEN UNDER HIS VERSION HE IS A FLAT OUT LIAR.

Anonymous said...

Nifong said he just found out about this a week ago. He can't be serious.

bill anderson said...

No, Nifong is NOT serious. He just is lying, but what else is new. The guy has been a non-stop liar for the past nine months, and I am sure that he is not going to take a break from his profession.

Anonymous said...

Please someone help me out. I can't be reading this right.
My understanding is Nifong claims he didn't know the DNA did not match the Duke 3 until wednesday of this week?

Anonymous said...

At WRAL, the story reports that Nifong thinks the accuser got pregnant two weeks after the party. Too traumatized to talk about the rape but able to have sex within days of the alleged rape claim?? Let's hear the spin from the feminists on this one.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

Collin, David and Reade go back to court on Feb 5 for the entire week. This is for the surpression hearing.

Anonymous said...

When Dr. Meehan testified that he had discussed the test results with Nifong, didn't the defense attorney questioning him ask the good Dr. what exactly he had told Mr. Nifong about those results? Didn't Mr. Nifong previously tell the court that his discussions with Dr. Meehan only involved whether or not his lab could do the testing? Hasn't Nifong been caught, outright, in yet another lie to this tribunal? Why isn't the judge sanctioning him???

Anonymous said...

to 1:04---
"My understanding is Nifong claims he didn't know the DNA did not match the Duke 3 until wednesday of this week?" Not quite.....
Nifong didn't realize there was DNA found from unknown males (males other than those for whom the lab had reference samples...) It fooled me at first, too. He always knew the DNA didn't match the lax players--but he claims he just found out last week about the DNA from multiple males that was all over the AV. Now even this claim is doubtful, as he met with meehan twice, and clearly gave him orders to only report matches to the players--that means he either knew there was other DNA found, or he suspected there would be...

However, on another note, if Nifong really just found out last week about the DNA from unknown males, certainly he will now drop the case, based on this new, exculpatory evidence!!!!

Anonymous said...

A response from Ralph Keaton from ASCLD/LAB, the accrediting agency of DNA Security, Inc, on the status of the lab's accreditation and the requirements for reporting.

I guess Mr Meehan has a different definition of "complete and accurate" reporting than the rest of the world

---------------------------------
DNA Security of Medical Village, 1610 Vaughn Road, Burlington, NC was accredited by ASCLD/LAB on 8/27/2004 under the standards and criteria of the 2003 version of the ASCLD/LAB Accreditation Manual in the discipline of Biology which includes DNA. In addition to the ASCLD/LAB standards, the DNA
Security Laboratory was inspected against the requirements of the FBI
"Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories and Convicted Offender DNA Databasing Laboratories".

Although the 2003 Manual has limited standards and criteria specific to reports, the expectation of ASCLD/LAB has always been that reports
issued by accredited laboratories accurately represent the complete and accurate findings of the analytical work performed.

Standards and Evaluation Criteria from the 2003 Manual which relate to Reports include the following: Please note that an (E) beside a
criterion number means Essential and requires compliance in order to be accredited.

2003 Standatd
The laboratory must create and maintain a case record for
administrative and
examination documentation generated or received by the laboratory on each case which it receives. Examination documentation such as notes,
worksheets, photographs, spectra, printouts, charts, and other data or records which support conclusions must be generated and kept in the case record.

Evaluation Criterion 1.4.2.14 (E)
DO THE EXAMINERS GENERATE AND DOES THE LABORATORY MAINTAIN, IN A CASE
RECORD, ALL THE NOTES, WORKSHEETS, PHOTOGRAPHS, SPECTRA, PRINTOUTS,
CHARTS
AND OTHER DATA OR RECORDS USED BY EXAMINERS TO SUPPORT THEIR
CONCLUSIONS?

2003 Standard
It is essential that a representative number of reports be subjected to
a
technical review.

Evaluation Criterion 1.4.2.16
DOES THE LABORATORY HAVE, USE AND DOCUMENT A SYSTEM OF TECHNICAL REVIEW
OF
THE REPORTS TO ENSURE THAT THE CONCLUSIONS OF ITS EXAMINERS ARE
REASONABLE
AND WITHIN THE CONSTRAINTS OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE?


The more recent version (2005 Version) of the ASCLD/LAB Accreditation
Manual
which became effective on January 1, 2006 has included standards and
criteria which are more specific to reports. The added standards and
evaluation criteria from the 2005 manual are listed below:

Standard
Examination documentation must be sufficiently detailed to support the
conclusions and opinions reported by the examiner(s) and must be such
that,
in the absence of the examiner(s), another competent examiner or
supervisor
could evaluate what was done and interpret the data. Examination
documentation must be of a permanent nature and must be free of
obliterations and erasures.

Evaluation Criterion 1.4.2.16 (E)
ARE CONCLUSIONS AND OPINIONS IN REPORTS SUPPORTED BY DATA AVAILABLE IN
THE
CASE RECORD, AND ARE THE EXAMINATION DOCUMENTS SUFFICIENTLY DETAILED
SUCH
THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF THE EXAMINER(S), ANOTHER COMPETENT EXAMINER OR
SUPERVISOR COULD EVALUATE WHAT WAS DONE AND INTERPRET THE DATA?

Standard
Laboratory personnel who issue findings based on examination
documentation
generated by another person(s) must complete and document the review of
all
relevant pages of examination documentation in the case record.

Evaluation Criterion 1.4.2.18 (E)
HAS EACH PERSON(S) IN THE LABORATORY WHO ISSUED FINDINGS BASED ON
EXAMINATION DOCUMENTATION GENERATED BY ANOTHER PERSON, COMPLETED A
REVIEW OF
ALL RELEVANT PAGES OF EXAMINATION DOCUMENTATION AND DOCUMENTED THE
REVIEW
IN THE CASE RECORD?

Standard
Written reports must be generated for all analytical work performed on
evidence by the laboratory and must contain the conclusions and
opinions
that address the purpose for which the analytical work was undertaken.
The
significance of associations made must be communicated clearly and
qualified
properly. The name of the author(s) must appear in the report.

Evaluation Criterion 1.4.2.19 (E)
DOES THE LABORATORY GENERATE WRITTEN REPORTS FOR ALL ANALYTICAL WORK
PERFORMED ON EVIDENCE, AND DO THE REPORTS CONTAIN THE CONCLUSIONS AND
OPINIONS THAT ADDRESS THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE ANALYTICAL WORK WAS
UNDERTAKEN?

Evaluation Criterion 1.4.2.20 (E)
WHERE ASSOCIATIONS ARE MADE, IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ASSOCIATION
COMMUNICATED CLEARLY AND QUALIFIED PROPERLY IN THE REPORT?

Evaluation Criterion 1.4.2.21 (E)
DOES THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR(S) APPEAR IN THE REPORT?

Standard
It is essential that a representative number of reports be subjected to
a
technical review.

Evaluation Criterion 1.4.2.22 (E)
DOES THE LABORATORY HAVE, USE AND DOCUMENT A SYSTEM OF TECHNICAL REVIEW
OF
THE REPORTS TO ENSURE THAT THE CONCLUSIONS OF ITS EXAMINERS ARE
REASONABLE
AND WITHIN THE CONSTRAINTS OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE?


To answer your earlier questions:

ASCLD/LAB inspection reports are not considered public documents by
ASCLD/LAB because in most states (other than New York, Oklahoma and
Texas)
accreditation is a voluntary process to which laboratories volunteer to
participate. The legal system has a means of obtaining these reports
when
deemed necessary for the legal process.

Ongoing proficiency testing is mandatory and each DNA analyst in a
laboratory accredited in DNA is required to participate in two external
proficiency tests each year. Each of these tests must be received from
a
proficiency test provider which is approved by ASCLD/LAB. The test
results
must be returned to the test provider by a pre-set deadline and all
test
results are reviewed by an ASCLD/LAB established Proficiency Review
Committee. Whenever any results are reported which are inconsistent
with
expected results, ASCLD/LAB follows-up with the laboratory and requires
appropriate corrective action. DNA Security has been required to
participate and has participated in the prescribed testing.

DNA Security is accredited for a five year period contingent upon
continued
compliance with the requirements of accreditation. Their expiration
date is
8/26/09. The laboratory must submit an application for renewal of
accreditation at least six months prior to that date and undergo a full
re-inspection in order to retain accreditation.

Because the issues which you raised are related to an ongoing legal
process,
it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this matter.

Thank you for your interest.

Ralph M. Keaton
Executive Director
ASCLD/LAB

Anonymous said...

What happened to the "dismissal" today? Were you counting on that?

Wooooo what a bummer...Michael Gaynor!

WJD said...

Everyone in the world new there were no DNA matches to the LAX players, all of them, back in April. It was all over the news and Nifong claims he didn't know that until this week. Where has he been for the last nine months on the planet Mars or perhaps hiding out with the missing Chief of Police. If Nifong stated this to the court and gets away with it the judge needs to take a mental compentantcy test. I think Nifong and Judge Smith are in bed together.

huesofblue said...

Anyone see this account from the N&O:

Under questioning by Jim Cooney, a defense attorney for Seligmann, Meehan admitted that his report violated his laboratory’s standards by not reporting results of all tests.

Did Nifong and his investigators know the results of all the DNA tests? Cooney asked.

“I believe so,” Meehan said.

“Did they know the test results excluded Reade Seligmann?” Cooney asked.

“I believe so,” Meehan said.

Was the failure to report these results the intentional decision of you and the district attorney? Cooney asked.

“Yes,” Meehan replied.

At that answer, several people in the packed courtroom clapped. Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III warned the standing-room only crowd to be quiet or leave.

http://www.newsobserver.com/100/story/521773.html

Anonymous said...

Nifong and Dr. Meehan, what a couple of hooligans.

Anonymous said...

How can they be allowed to get away with this??!!! It makes my blood boil.

Anonymous said...

To Bill Anderson, I am a NC resident who is outraged by this case. I have a child at Duke U who is a friend of one of the accused and therefore have become quite emotionally attached to this case. While I admit that there are several cases of record which put a black eye on the State of NC what I find most troubling in this case and what is significantly different in other cases where innocent people have been found guilty because of prosecutorial misconduct is that unlike the past cases, the public is completely aware (including public officials) that this misconduct is going on and nothing is done to stop it. This does not negate the importance of past cases, but the public was not as engaged as they are with this case (thanks to the blogs). All of that said, however, I truly believe that if this had been a white alleged victim, I would not be sitting here responding to your question. There would be no case. This is hard core political pandering on behalf of the State and it's not just Nifong. We can hold the Governor, Attorney General, the NC Bar, etc. responsible. The top two official in this state have political aspirations and they are not going to blow it on three innocent young men. It is a sorry commentary and one that I will remember when I see their names on a ballot. We also must not forget that the University who gives millions of dollars to Durham, has sat by in silence and watched this travesty unfold. That also as much as anything has emboldened the prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Even the "word in the street" seemed to know:

I heard back then no DNA of the boys was found.
I did not hear the DNA of several other men was found.

Anonymous said...

And now that you know that several other men's DNA was found in the accuser, and on her panites, yet no DNA from the accused was found, has it changed your opinion?

Anonymous said...

well it certainly explains any edema or trauma she may have had to her vagina...(she was one BUSY gal!) plus it points out how she lied AGAIN... saying she had not had sex with anyone else for at least a week prior to the "attack"

Anonymous said...

Just downloaded the indictments against the LAX-3. The date of the indictments is April 17, 2006. There were two witnesses that presented the "evidence" against them,according to the indictments----Gottlieb and Himan. Nifong knew of the exculpatory evidence by at least April 10, 2006, and remember that Himan and Gottlieb went to Burlington on 4/10/06 to meet with Meehan. So, they all knew. Himan and Gottlieb did not inform the grand jury. There's no transcript of the proceedings, but common sense says there would be a great likelihood of no indictment if the grand jury was aware of this news. That's why Nifong didn't ask for a probable cause hearing. There'd be cross examination, records having to be produced, etc.

Anonymous said...

Yet another amazing fact documented by LieStoppers in an earlier post -- Prosecutors are under no obligation to present exculpatory evidence to a Grand Jury...