A 23-year-old Wildwood man was taken into custody this week after alleged DNA evidence linked him to several burglaries at a Wildwood storage facility on April 24.
The man is accused of breaking into multiple recreational vehicles and stealing four televisions, a laptop, GPS, CB radio, cash and a firearm.
According to police, one of the victims told police there was a water bottle left inside his RV that was not there before the burglary. The water bottle was taken into evidence and swabbed for DNA.
The evidence was apparently sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s lab for analysis. On Monday, the lab reported that the bottle apparently contained DNA that matched that of the accused.
He was charged with burglary and criminal mischief. He remains in the Sumter County jail with bail set at $60,000.
DNA is regularly collected and analyzed in order to establish a link between crime scene evidence, like saliva, blood or urine, with that of a potential suspect. Police commonly rely on DNA evidence to pursue criminal charges and prosecutors use this to obtain convictions. While DNA evidence is generally viewed as something that can make or break a case, it is important to realize that this evidence can in fact be tainted. Different environmental factors such as light, heat and humidity can spoil DNA. Human error can also contaminate evidence, which is why it is essential for technicians to collect sufficient samples of DNA from a crime scene and safeguard it properly so that results do not yield false identifications or incomplete or partial DNA profiles.
Anyone accused of committing a crime, despite whether DNA evidence is available, needs to seek the help of a criminal defense attorney. Not all DNA evidence is accurate, and certainly not everyone accused of a crime is guilty. If you have been accused of a criminal act, like burglary, in Sumter, Lake or Marion County, The Villages Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help develop a strong defense to clear your good name. We can immediately begin an investigation into the chain of custody of any DNA evidence to make sure that it has not been spoiled or contaminated and that findings are reliable. For help with your criminal charges, contact us today online or call us anytime by dialing 1-352-369-5334.
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