Prosecution frustrated with delay for trial of Dujuan Garris, start date pushed to March 2017

Tensions ran high Tuesday morning as the defense and prosecution argued over the handing over of evidence in the trial of 21-year-old Dujuan Garris.

Garris is charged with first-degree murder while armed in the January 2015 shooting death of James Anderson, 27.

Garris was originally set to go on trial on July 6, but the defense postponed, saying there was male DNA found on bullet casings found at the crime scene that did not match Garris or Anderson. The defense requested time to send the data off to their experts for analysis.

The trial was then set to being in January, 2017, but on Tuesday it was pushed back to March.

The prosecution said they believe the unknown male DNA belonged to crime scene detectives and firearm specialists who handled the evidence without gloves. They said they would need time after the defense got their results back to conduct DNA testing on all of the people who could have come in contact with the evidence with the hopes of proving that there is not a second, unknown suspect.

This evidence analysis, along with the analysis of blood found on a different piece of evidence, was supposed to be shared with the prosecution by the defense before Tuesday’s status hearing. It was not.

At this time, the defense said that they were unsure if they would even use the evidence they are collecting from the analysis.

The prosecution said that the defense has had over a month since they originally said that their analysis would be available, and argued there is no reason for the delay unless the defense was attempting to waste time. The prosecution also noted that the delay gave time for the protective order preventing Garris from learning about possible testifying witnesses was allowed to expire.

After several minuets of back and forth the defense approached the bench to explain the situation to Judge Milton Lee.

Lee addressed the prosecution and said, “Maybe this is not as clear cut as you thought it was.” Lee said that he was satisfied with the reasoning the defense gave at the bench for the delay and he would take action if the defense did not comply after the analysis was finished.

“I know more than you do,” Lee told the prosecution.

The trial date was scheduled for March 6, 2016. A status hearing will be held on Sept. 16 at 10 a.m.

 

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