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DNA testimony begins in Brad Compher murder trial as expert witnesses take the stand

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: William Scott Long took the stand in the Brad Compher murder trial. Long is with the Idaho Attorney General's Special Investigative Unit. He was the lead detective on the Nori Jone case in 2014 when the case was cold.

He said cold cases undergo an annual review. After one review, it was decided they would collect DNA samples from Brad Compher, since they did not have a DNA profile of him.

They decided to watch Compher so they could obtain a DNA sample to see if it would match the unknown DNA in the case. Long said he was aware of the fingerprints that returned as Compher's.

On April 14, 2014, they were able to get a discarded cigarette butt and send it to ISP's forensic lab. They were able to get a result but did not say what the result was.

The state could wrap up its case as soon as tomorrow.

William Scott Long, with Idaho Attorney General's Special Investigative Unit, testifies about DNA evidence in the Brad Compher Trial, Feb. 27, 2024.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Testimony is back underway in the afternoon session of the Brad Compher murder trial.

On the stand is Megan Clement, an expert DNA analyst with LabCorp, a national DNA Laboratory. 

She is the analyst who reviewed DNA from the handprint found on the window believed to be the point of entry into the house. 

Clement has testified as an expert in about 395 court cases nationwide.

She is testifying about the swab taken from the window and sent to Labcorp by the Idaho State Police.

Megan Clement, a Labcorp DNA expert, testifies in the Brad Compher murder trial.

ORIGINAL - The Court opened Tuesday morning in the Brad Compher murder trial with more fingerprint experts. They say Compher’s fingerprint was found on a door inside Nori Jones' home.

The prosecution then started with their DNA evidence calling Rylene Nowlin, a forensics lab manager with Idaho State Police in Meridian. 

She testified she received 131 items of DNA evidence in the Nori Jones case. She tested fingernail clippings and a sexual assault collection kit and said she did not find any foreign tissue under Nori’s fingernails.

Analysts look for the presence of semen in the sexual assault kit. The kit contained swabs taken from the victims' genital areas, a fiber collected from her foot and pubic and head hairs.

She testified she did not detect semen in any of the items in Nori’s sexual assault kit. 

 She also analyzed some DNA material from a handprint on the window frame.

They shipped that swab to a private lab because at that time as they did not perform touch DNA analysis.

During cross-examination, the defense asked several questions about the possibility of cross-contamination.

Linda Larsen is in court and will continue to update the story as the day continues.

You can view our previous story HERE.

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Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8.


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