Expert witness at Houston County murder trial DNA on shotgun mat - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Expert witness at Houston County murder trial DNA on shotgun matched suspect's

Leonard Intelisano (Source: Houston County Jail) Leonard Intelisano (Source: Houston County Jail)

During the third day of trial for Leonard Intelisano, the state continued to present evidence on tests that were run after the 2016 shooting. 

Leonard Intelisano is one of the two suspects accused of shooting Frank Thomas in January of 2016. 

Houston County District Attorney Donna Kaspar called Angelina Temple to the stand Thursday. 

Temple, who is a forensic scientist for The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Houston Crime Lab, said she tested samples from the shotgun used by Intelisano and blood from Thomas’s blood card for DNA. 

“The profile from the shotgun swab was consistent with the blood card,” Temple said.

When asked if any other fingerprints could be on the weapon from the transfer, Temple said she was confident no staff prints were on it. 

Bill Pemberton, Intelisano’s defense attorney, attempted to discredit the DNA test that was conducted.

“Biological samples can deteriorate over a six-month period,” Pemberton said. 

Temple agreed, but she told the jury blood cards are frozen, so profile won’t degrade quickly. 

The forensic scientist noted that the bullet and bullet fragments were not examined for DNA as well. 

Pemberton mentioned the DPS handbook states that enclosed items are not to be packaged in plastic, but the blood card and shotgun were.

Temple said plastic wrapping doesn’t matter. 

“We’ve opened packages and seen mold,” Temple said. “I don’t think that was the case here.” 

Outside the presence of the jury, the next witness the state brought to the stand was Christopher Chaney. Chaney, a forensic scientist for The Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Laboratory in Austin, Texas, ran the test on the gunshot residue from Intelisano’s shotgun.

Pemberton’s argument was that Chaney’s testimony would be inclusive because the DPS handbook says to not perform tests on physical evidence after four hours of an incident. 

Intelisano’s evidence came eight hours after the incident and Brandon Hill’s came five hours after. 

Judge Pam Fletcher overruled the argument, and the jury will hear Chaney’s testimony once recess is over at 1:30 p.m.

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