Sunday, 18 December 2011

Win for death row inmate

Win for death row inmate

There was seminal fluid wrapped up in the victim's underwear and saliva on a washcloth. They were lying in the backseat of the victim's car.
Vronzettie Cox's naked body was found in the trunk. It was the morning of Sept. 13, 1985.
One year later in a Hernando County courtroom, Paul Christopher Hildwin was convicted of first-degree murder. He has spent the rest of his life living on death row.
The seminal fluid and saliva have never been uploaded in the state's database. On Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court ruled it should.
The Attorney General's Office has 15 days to file a motion for a rehearing.
Hildwin's prosecutor, Tom Hogan Jr., mentioned the forensic evidence to jurors. He said it further proved Hildwin murdered the 42-year-old Cox and stuffed her body into the trunk of her car in Royal Highlands.
Hildwin's court-appointed defense attorney said years later during an appellate hearing he was blindsided by Hogan's presentation of the evidence.
If he had seen it coming, he would have made time to prepare for it, the defense attorney argued.
The trial took place prior to the advancement of DNA evidence, but Hogan told jurors the seminal fluid came from a nonsecretor — someone whose blood type can't be traced through bodily fluids.
Nonsecretors make up 11 percent of the world's population. Hildwin was among the 11 percent, Hogan said.
In 2003, a private company compared both the seminal fluid and the saliva to Hildwin's DNA. The results came back negative. As a result, a circuit court judge recommended to the higher court that the evidence be compared to other convicted felons.
If the state doesn't file the motion or if the court denies it, the semen and saliva samples will be uploaded to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database.
If there's a match, the case could be turned on its head, said Martin J. McClain, Hildwin's attorney.
In an interview earlier this year, McClain said the state had so little evidence it relied on unethical tactics to win a conviction.
Every attorney who represented Hildwin during the appellate portion of the case has stated the same in court documents.
McClain said during a phone interview Friday that if the DNA matches someone in the database, there will be an onslaught of questions centering on a new possible suspect, including where he was and what he was doing the day Cox was murdered.
"It's all speculative at this point," said McClain. "There are thousands and thousands of people in that database."
Detectives at the time suspected Cox's then-boyfriend, William Haverty, could have had something to do with the crime, according to reports from the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Haverty has been in prison since 1998. He was convicted of sexually battering a girl younger than 12 years old.
McClain has two other appeals related to the Hildwin case. He said the Florida Supreme Court gave no indication about the progress of those appeals or whether they hinge on the pending DNA findings. (352) 544-5283

1 comment:

Cannavaro said...


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Source: Defense attorney interview questions

Best regards