DENVER — A forensic scientist who was involved in several famous murder cases — including the Casey Anthony and the Timothy Masters trials — has been discredited as an expert witness.
A Denver prosecutor got Richard Eikelenboom to admit he “had no direct DNA extraction or analysis experience, that he operates a lab that has not been accredited, that he personally failed his basic proficiency tests in 2011 and 2012, and admitted that he was ‘self-trained’ in running DNA profiles,” the Denver District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Thursday.
The DA’s office said the man had been debunked.
“Testimony in Denver District Court earlier this week revealed that Eikelenboom has committed fundamental DNA analysis errors by not following accepted scientific standards in the DNA field,” the DA’s office said.
Eikelenboom was rejected as a DNA expert by a Denver District Court court judge after the testimony.
Eikelenboom’s purported areas of expertise are DNA and bloodstain pattern analysis and trace recovery. He works with his wife, Selma, at Independent Forensic Services, a private laboratory in the Netherlands.
“We are very surprised by all of this,” Eikelenboom said. “I think they’re very scared from some of the cases we’ve worked on, and this could be a miscarriage of justice and we will expose that if they are.”
Eikelenboom was an expert witness in the Masters trial. In 1999, Masters was convicted of killing of Peggy Hettrick in Fort Collins in 1987.
Masters was released from prison in 2008 after his conviction was vacated by DNA evidence. That evidence involved a shoe print impression and the color of some spray paint — and doesn’t appear to have any connection to Eikelenboom’s testimony.
“Their work in the Masters case led to the first Touch DNA exoneration in the United States,” the Illinois Innocence Project said.
The Eikelenbooms also testified in Anthony’s murder trial, CNN reported.
Richard Eikelenboom testified that if duct tape was put over a person’s mouth, the sticky side could contain DNA evidence, but it would be difficult to analyze after it had been exposed to the elements for several months.
Eikelenboom testified that he offered to investigate but did not ask to test the duct tape.
He was found guilty in two separate trials, but the verdicts were overturned on appeal. Camm sued the county for $30 million in 2014 but settled for $450,000 last month, the Indianapolis Star reported.
The Illinois Innocence Project said investigators in the JonBenet Ramsey case contacted Eikelenboom and his wife about using Touch DNA, but the Boulder Police Department said Thursday that the report was not true.
The Denver case Eikelenboom had recently been called to testify in was a 2013 sexual assault, the DA’s office said.
Two defendants were found guilty of attacking a woman in lower downtown at a work-related Christmas party. They were formally charged after DNA linked them to the attack.