DNA puts Sacramento murder suspects behind bars
District Attorney Jan Scully announced several successful DNA hits resulting from DNA analysis conducted by the District Attorney's Crime Lab. The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office is one of just four D.A.'s offices in the state that manage the local crime lab, which provides a full range of forensic services to all law enforcement agencies in Sacramento County.
Evidence from crime scenes and victims is sent to the District Attorney's Crime Lab, where criminalists examine it for DNA. Any DNA profiles found in unsolved cases are entered into the national DNA database of criminal offenders (CODIS) to attempt to identify suspects.
Since April 2000, 24 cold hit homicide cases were filed in Sacramento County as a result of DNA analysis, including:
Jeffrey Tucker - This most recent cold hit case goes back to November 1984 when a McGeorge Law School security officer reported a body in a car parked near the school. Sacramento Police Officer Jeff Schiele responded, finding Floyd Baker dead inside of his car. DNA evidence was analyzed by the District Attorney's Crime Lab, and Tucker was identified in February 2012 through a DNA cold hit. He is currently in custody at a California prison, and will return to Sacramento to face a murder charge. The responding officer is now Sacramento County District Attorney Chief Investigator Jeff Schiele.
Terry Glen Short - In February 1996, the body of 13-year-old Jessica Sanchez was discovered in Florin Creek Park in south Sacramento. She had been sexually assaulted and murdered. DNA evidence was analyzed by the District Attorney's Crime Lab, and Short was identified in late 2011 through a DNA cold hit. He is in the process of being extradited from Nevada to Sacramento to face murder and child sex assault charges.
Bryan Cordell Johnson- In July 2007, Robin Stephens was found dead in her Foothill Farms apartment bedroom. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death. DNA evidence was analyzed by the District Attorney's Crime Lab, and a DNA hit in November 2011 linked Johnson to evidence collected from the victim's body. Johnson was in a California prison for a June 2011 murder conviction. He is now in custody in Sacramento facing a new murder charge.
The District Attorney's Crime Lab has units specializing in drug analysis; trace evidence, firearms and tool comparison, and arson; DNA and serology; alcohol and drug toxicology; controlled substance analysis; and crime scene analysis. The lab has achieved the honor of being accredited by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board.