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Widow’S Dna Not On Knife In Vasyli Murder Probe

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Donna Vasyli

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

THE black-handled knife allegedly used to fatally stab a millionaire podiatrist at his Old Fort Bay home did not contain any DNA belonging to his wife, a jury heard yesterday.

Results of forensic analysis on several items collected from the home of 59-year-old Philip Vasyli, and his widow, Donna, were revealed in the report of Samantha Wandzek on the eighth day of Mrs Vasyli’s high-profile murder trial.

The evidence of Ms Wandzek, a forensic analyst at DNA Labs International in Deerfield Beach, Florida, was read into the record after earlier legal discussions between the Crown and Mrs Vasyli’s lawyers.

The report concludes that the only major DNA profile attributed to the accused was found on the rim of a wine glass that was on the patio table, a few feet away from where Mr Vasyli was found lifeless in his kitchen on March 24.

The DNA profile of an unknown male was also found on the rim of a glass at the table. However, the victim’s profile was found in the blood, hand and foot imprints at the crime scene.

The jury also heard evidence from forensic biologist, Inspector Sheria King.

Ms King, a Florida International University graduate with 11 years experience and 1,000 analyses cases under her belt, testified that on July 14, she received a number of items from Corporal Scott Blair for analysis.

These items were swabs off a handprint, the rim of drinking glasses, the outside kitchen door handles, the (black) handle of a knife, the blade of the knife, a cigarette butt on the patio table, cigarettes from the kitchen counter and a footprint.

Ms King said she also received cuttings from a dress, cuttings from a blanket and finger nail clippings from Mr Vasyli.

She said she also received whole blood samples belonging to Alejandro Quintana, Mitchell John Matthew, Lauren de Graaf (the Vasylis’ daughter) and Mr and Mrs Vasyli to be used as a cross reference for DNA profiling concerning the submitted items.

In cross-examination, Vasyli’s lawyer Murrio Ducille asked the witness if she took three trips to the DNA lab in Florida.

Ms King said she did, but did not see Ms Wandzek until September 9.

“You received certain items?” the lawyer asked.

“Correct,” Ms King said.

“Among them, you received on August 27 was a multi-coloured dress?” Mr Ducille asked. Ms King said yes, but admitted that this was her fist time seeing the actual item in court.

“Your role was a limited role in this matter?” Mr Ducille asked the witness.

“Yes,” the witness replied.

The trial resumes today at 11am when the jury will be taken to Old Fort Bay to have a look at the property.

Elliot Lockhart, QC, also represents the accused in this case.

The prosecution’s team is led by attorneys Garvin Gaskin and Neil Braithwaite.

Acting Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs is presiding over the trial.

Vasyli, who denies murdering her husband, is on $200,000 bail.

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