IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
THIRTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND
FOR HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA
CASE NO. 84-10538
STATE OF FLORIDA,
MOTION FOR DNA TESTING OF EVIDENCE
Comes now the Defendant, WAYNE TOMPKINS, by and through
undersigned counsel and respectfully requests that this Court
enter an order directing the State to disclose any information
and/or any impeachment information regarding Mr. Tompkins’s case
or witnesses involved in Mr. Tompkins’ case. In addition, Mr.
Tompkins request that DNA testing of the evidence sent to the FBI
lab in 1984 be conducted at this time. In support of this
request, Mr. Tompkins states as follows:
1. On April 6, 2001, Mr. Tompkins sent Governor Bush a
letter requesting a stay of execution so that DNA testing could
be conducted on the evidence sent to the FBI for testing in 1984.
Attachment A. The Governor’s office responded to the request
through the media saying, “We’re currently investigating the
statements made by Mr. Tompkins’ lawyer in his letter to the
governor, and if there is any relevant DNA evidence we’ll take
steps to make sure it is properly tested.”
2. Though agreeing DNA testing should occur, the newspaper
reported that “Bush spokeswoman Katie Baur said the execution
would not be stayed.” Attachment B. Thus, Mr. Tompkins files
this motion seeking an order compelling DNA testing of the
forensic evidence that was previously sent to the FBI for testing
3. During the course of the 1984 investigation into Miss
DeCarr’s death, several items containing biological evidence,
discovered along with her corpse, were forwarded to the Federal
Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory for forensic testing.
These items were sent along with evidence from another case
involving a young woman, Jessie Albach, (a friend of Miss
DeCarr’s), whose decomposed body was found about one month before
the discovery of Miss DeCarr. The police believed that the same
perpetrator might have committed the two homicides. Attachment
C. Although Mr. Tompkins at one point was suspected to have been
involved in Ms. Albach’s death, charges were not filed because
there was no evidence to connect Mr. Tompkins to either her
disappearance or death.
4. According to the FBI Lab report, several hairs
discovered with Miss DeCarr’s body and forwarded for a comparison
“ are suitable for possible future comparison.” Moreover, other
hairs “did not possess sufficient individual microscopic
characteristics to be of value for significant comparison
purposes.” Given the advances in forensic technology and in DNA
testing since 1984, these items of evidence could now be tested.
Any of this evidence which did not connect Mr. Tompkins to Miss
DeCarr’s death, or which could establish that the corpse may not
in fact be that of Lisa DeCarr, would be highly exculpatory
information that would exonerate Mr. Tompkins.
5. Recently, in State v. Holton, a capital case from
Hillsborough County, this Court granted a defendant’s request in
3.850 proceedings for DNA testing of hair found on a deceased
victim and identified in 1986 as possibly coming from the
defendant and argued by the prosecutor in that case as definitely
not the victim’s hair. On November 15, 2000, the mitochondrial
DNA testing was concluded and it was discovered that the hairs
came from the victim or a maternally related individual.
“Rudolph Holton is clearly excluded as a possible contributor of
the questioned hairs.”
6. Mr. Tompkins seeks to have the evidence previously
submitted to the FBI for forensic analysis tested by the same
examiner used in State v. Holton: Terry Melton; Mitotyping
Technologies, LLC; 1981 Pine Hall Dr.; State College, PA; 16801.
7. Since the Governor’s Office is apparently in agreement
that any available forensic evidence be submitted for DNA
testing, the testing of the evidence should occur as
expeditiously as possible.
WHEREFORE, Counsel for Mr. Tompkins moves this Court to
enter an order requiring the submission of the evidence
previously sent to the FBI to a qualified DNA examiner so that
mitochondrial DNA testing of the evidence can occur.
COUNSEL HEREBY CERTIFIES that a true copy of the foregoing
motion has been furnished by first class mail, postage prepaid,
to all counsel of record on April ___, 2001.
TODD g. SCHER
Florida Bar No. 0899641
101 N.E. 3rd Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Attorney for Mr. Tompkins
Copies furnished to:
Honorable Daniel Perry
Circuit Court Judge
Sharon M. Vollrath
Assistant State Attorney
Assistant Attorney General