Published: May 02, 2012 07:21 PM
Modified: May 02, 2012 07:23 PM
HILLSBOROUGH - Defendant Brian Minton was a complete match to a DNA sample taken from a glove buried with Josh Bailey’s body in Chatham County, a forensic scientist testified Wednesday.
The probability of finding another person who matches that sample is greater than 1 in a trillion, said Michelle Hannon, a DNA specialist for the State Bureau of Investigation.
“It is my opinion that it is scientifically unreasonable for me to believe that that DNA profile could have come from anybody other than Brian Minton,” she said.
Minton, 21, and five other men are charged with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping. Two men pleaded guilty to lesser charges and testified against Minton last week in Orange County Superior Court.
Prosecutors alleged Minton was the group’s ringleader in Bailey’s murder and in a subsequent kidnapping and assault in Pittsboro.
Hannon said she performed DNA analysis on several items, including latex gloves, duct tape, bullets, a blue sheet, hair samples and a cane Bailey was using just before his death July 29, 2008. She also tested a stained tissue found in the Mintons’ garage on Smith Level Road in Carrboro.
In addition to the glove matching Minton’s DNA, Hannon said she also found a partial match with another glove that identified either Minton or his father Greg Minton. She also found a partial match in a third glove that identified Minton or his mother Mishele Minton, but that data wasn’t considered, since only one DNA marker out of 15 matched. The SBI lab requires at least two markers for a partial match, she said.
A sample from the tissue found in the garage was the only other match for Minton, she said.
In other testimony, SBI gunshot residue expert David Freehling said he didn’t find anything on a black T-shirt seized at the Sourwood Circle home where Garry Bright and Brandon Green lived. Bright, who testified April 18, was not charged. Green is charged with murder and kidnapping.
Freehling told the jury that gunshot residue can be ejected up to several feet when a gun is fired, depending on the weapon’s caliber. Residue particles are extremely small – up to 50 particles are only the width of a human hair, he said.
If a person wasn’t close enough to the gun, it might not leave any residue, but it doesn’t mean the person didn’t fire a weapon, he testified.