11/21/2001

Dog DNA Convicts Man

By The Associated Press

LONDON — British prosecutors used a DNA sample taken from a dog to help convict a man of stabbing a London bouncer to death.

Duane Daniels, 27, attacked nightclub doorman George Napier, 36, after he refused to let his friend into the Paradise Club in southeast London, prosecutors said.

During the attack, Daniels' friend Spencer Sheppard, 31, set his powerful pit-bull terrier named "Colonel" on the doorman. The dog's ear was stabbed in the fracas, and police followed the trail of blood to his owner's house.

Detectives sent a sample of the dog's blood to New York for DNA testing, and American scientists said the chances of the blood coming from a dog other than Colonel were one in a million.

The evidence was used to arrest Daniels, Sheppard, Sheppard's brother Louis and a fourth suspect, Daniel Clark.

Daniels was convicted Monday of murdering Napier, who was knifed through the heart. Judge Giles Forrester told him he could expect life imprisonment.

The Sheppard brothers and Clark had previously admitted conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm. All four men will be sentenced at a later date.

The Crown Prosecution Service was unable to comment on whether this was the first instance of animal DNA in a criminal prosecution in England and Wales.

In 1998, two men were convicted of murder in Seattle in a case that included a dog's DNA as evidence linking bloodstains found on the men to the crime scene.

Kenneth Leuluaialii and George Tuilefano were convicted in the murders of Jay Johnson and his girlfriend, Raquel Rivera. Leuluaialii also was found guilty of animal cruelty for shooting and killing the couple's dog, Chief, whose blood was found on their clothing.

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