Pitfalls In Homicide Investigations

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In Homicide Investigations, pitfalls can drastically change the outcome of a case. Pitfalls are defined as unsuspected danger or difficulty. Some examples of pitfalls are contaminated crime scenes, incomplete witness lists, improper forensic science and false confessions. In the Homicide Investigation of Chaunte Ott, there were clear signs of pitfalls. The biggest pitfalls were the lack of evidence and false confessions/testimonies against Ott. Ott served 12.5 years for First-degree Intentional Homicide and Attempted Robbery for a crime he did not commit. On August 30, 1995, the body of 16-year-old Jessica Payne, a white runaway, was discovered between a vacant house and a drug house. The victim’s throat was slashed, her shirt was raised and her pants were at her ankles. An autopsy indicated that…show more content…
In 2000, The Wisconsin Innocence Project began working with Ott. Thy requested post-conviction DNA testing on semen from the rape kit collected during Payne’s autopsy. In 2002, the test were granted and the results excluded Ott as the donor of the semen. Hadaway, Gwin and everyone else that was with Payne that day was excluded. However, the DNA did not exonerate Ott, as he had not been convicted of sexual assault. Therefore, he remained in prison for 5 more years. Finally in 2007, prosecutors informed the WIP that the DNA profile semen collected matched DNA found on the bodies of two other women murdered in the same neighborhood. Both murders were after Payne was killed. In 1997, one victim’s body was found a few houses away from where Payne’s body was found. The semen in from her body matched the profile from the Payne case. Another victim was found 10 years later, also a few blocks from where Payne was found. Blood samples were tested and the DNA from this crime scene matched the DNA from the two previous

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