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Forensics lab backlog could delay the trial of Raymond Clark III for the murder of Yale graduate student Annie Le, an attorney tells the Yale Daily News.
Raymond Clark III, the lab technician charged with Le's murder, was due in court on Dec. 21 but his court appearance was put off until Jan. 26 because not all of the materials in the case had been made available to lawyers, an attorney told the Yale Daily News.
John Waddock, the state prosecutor handling the case, said postponement was necessary because there's a backlog at the state forensics laboratory. Robert Berke, the attorney for Clark’s fiancée, Jennifer Hromadka, whose DNA was collected in the case, said he hasn't received information on whether the DNA has been analyzed, according to the Daily News.
“I know for a fact, independent of this case, that the lab is backed up for nine months to a year,” Berke told the Daily News.
Beth Merkin, one of Clark's attorneys, told the Yale Daily News that it has taken longer than usual to compile all the materials because four investigating agencies were involved in the case: The New Haven Police Department, the Yale Police Department, the Connecticut State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Connecticut State Police disputes the delay.
Lt. Paul Vance told the Daily News that the Le case is a top priority and that “all the materials for the hearings to go forward have been made available.” Vance did admit that additional evidence waiting to be checked for DNA matches may be delayed.
The defense does believe they will have the necessary materials by Jan. 26, but if they do not have enough time to review the materials, the case will have to be delayed again.
Clark was arrested and charged with Le’s murder on Sept. 17. He had not entered a plea and is being held at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution on $3 million bond.