KOOPMANS TRIAL: Bloodstains on clothing matched victim's, court hears - InfoNews

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KOOPMANS TRIAL: Bloodstains on clothing matched victim's, court hears

Bloodstains on accused murderer John Koopman's clothing was examined by a DNA expert, revealing DNA matching victim Keith Wharton, court heard today. Keith Wharton is shown in photo, centre, with his parents.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Wharton family
March 23, 2015 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - Bloodstains on the jeans of John Ike Koopmans were identified as his and murder victim Keith Wharton’s, jurors in the Koopmans double murder trial heard today.

Christine Crossman, Biology Reporting Scientist for the RCMP Forensic Lab, took the stand March 23 to explain the specifics of DNA evidence to the jury. She told Crown Prosecutor Frank Dubenski that the sample from his jeans contained “mixed profiles” meaning from two people. 

Crossman said samples of blood tested from Koopman’s jeans and jacket tested positive for both Koopmans and that of Keith Wharton, who was shot and killed along with his girlfriend Rosemary Fox March 20, 2013. A third man, Bradley Martin, was also shot at Wharton's home at 331 Old Hedley Road in Princeton.

On cross-examination, defence lawyer Don Skogstad questioned the DNA sampling process, asking why only a certain number of stains on the clothing was examined. Crossman explained sampling rates were based on the amount of staining on the items and the number of people involved in the incident. She said further testing was done on the clothing when DNA results failed to match those of the other two victims in the crime, that of Bradley Martin and Rosemary Fox.

Skogstad asked if she could discern when or how the stains got on the clothing. Crossman said no.

The lawyer also questioned Crossman regarding how the  samples were tested, noting their minute nature in many cases, some  in the order of one to two millimetres. Crossman said two tests performed on the stains found on the clothing were done, one to define the stain as a bloodstain, the other to determine DNA. She said in some cases a choice had to be made whether to test a stain for blood or DNA, due to the minute nature of the sample because the hemochromogen test destroyed the sample.

The trial continues tomorrow.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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