DNA links Lewis to slain Griffith woman

2013-10-09T13:33:00Z 2013-12-28T21:27:45Z DNA links Lewis to slain Griffith womanSusan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com, (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com
October 09, 2013 1:33 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A DNA analyst testified Wednesday blood from a Griffith woman's car and fluid from a sexual assault kit showed DNA profiles of both the woman and the man accused of killing her.

Shawn Flagg, an analyst with the Indiana State Police crime lab, said the specimens showed a mixture of the substances indicating the major DNA profile belonging to 37-year-old Jennifer Kocsis and the minor profile that of murder defendant Robert Lewis III, of Gary.

Lewis, 40, faces multiple counts of murder, robbery and criminal deviate conduct in connection with the woman's death in April 2011. If convicted of murder, Lewis faces the possibility of a life sentence without parole.

Recovered from the woman's body were fluids with enough of Lewis' DNA profile so he could not be excluded as the owner, Flagg said.

The same held true of blood recovered from the steering wheel of Kocsis' cranberry-colored Malibu found halfway between the site where the woman's body was found and the Gary home belonging to Lewis' parents.

A substance found on a wall near the site also was determined to be the woman's blood, while no blood could be substantiated on burnt debris and fabric, an arm rest, a pair of Nike gym shoes and a sock provided to the crime lab, testimony showed.

Defense attorney T. Edward Page sought to discredit the findings that indicated a match to Lewis, arguing demographics and the statistical nature of DNA analysis would allow for as many as 285 other African-Americans to have been the killer.

Deputy Prosecutor Reginald Marcus disputed the relevancy of Page's argument given the database on which Flagg based her findings.  

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