DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) Forensic Laboratory Assists Ohio Innocence Project
DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC)-Forensics laboratory worked with the attorneys at the Ohio Innocence Project on a post-conviction case from 1996 involving Eric Brunner, a Canton, OH man who was convicted of rape and attempted rape of two women. Advances in DNA technology employed by DDC Forensics ultimately demonstrated Brunner’s innocence by proving the semen in the victim’s rape kit does not match Mr. Brunner. This DNA result gives Brunner and his attorneys hope for a full exoneration of the crime for which he served 13 years and labeled him a sex offender.
Advancements in DNA Technology Provided the Key
The two victims testified that Brunner was in the apartment before they fell asleep. They also testified that it was too dark to identify or see any facial features of their attacker. Nevertheless, the jury convicted and sentenced Mr. Brunner to 14-40 years in prison. The evidence was originally tested in 2005 but was found insufficient to produce a result at that time. Mr. Brunner’s attorneys persisted, and ultimately refiled the case for DNA testing, citing the advancements in DNA technology since 2005.
Brian Howe, Brunner’s attorney at the OH Innocence Project, said, “We believe this does exonerate him. At the very least, this is conclusive grounds for a new trial. I am confident he would never have been convicted in the first place if the jury knew his sperm doesn’t match whoever is responsible for this crime.” Howe plans to file a motion asking the court to grant Mr. Brunner a new trial.
DDC Forensics is proud to have provided the DNA testing that could ultimately result in Mr. Brunner’s full exoneration, clearing his name and his criminal record.