K2 Radio News: Flash Briefing For February 16th, 2018 – Morning
In her opening statement at the beginning of the sexual assault trial of Casper businessman Tony Cercy on Tuesday, his lead defense attorney argued the alleged assault of a young woman did not not happen.
Pamela Mackey specifically cited the lack of DNA evidence linking her client to then 20-year-old woman.
Cercy is charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault (rape), one count of second-degree and one count of third degree sexual assault on the 20-year-old woman. If convicted on all counts, he faces between seven and 85 years of imprisonment.
Thursday, the fourth day of the scheduled six-day trial, Natrona County District Attorney called Wyoming Crime Lab analyst Jennifer Brammier to testify about the process of examining DNA, the double-helix molecule that contains the unique genetic code of all known living organisms.
Brammier said her job at the crime lab starts with the initial collection of evidence.
And that began with testimony from Natrona County Sheriff's investigator Taylor Courtney and Sheriff's patrol officer Michael Moravec who told the jury at Natrona County District Court how they collected evidence.
Courtney said he and another officer went to Cercy's home on Wolf Creek at 5:25 p.m. June 28 to inform him of the search warrants for his Alcova lake house where the alleged assault occurred the night of June 24-25.
Cercy also agreed to go to the Sheriff's Office and have his mouth swabbed for a DNA sample, and placed in secure containers.
Moravec said he responded to a call from the Wyoming Medical Center the morning of June 28th, to interview the alleged victim and collect evidence.
A denim bag with her clothing from the weekend was brought to the hospital, and at one point, the alleged victim’s mother reached in the bag and Moravec told her to pull out her hand so as not to contaminate the clothing with her DNA.
Moravec took the bag and logged it into evidence and placed it in a storage locker at the Sheriff's Office, and From there it went to the Wyoming Crime Lab.
Brammeir's testimony about DNA testing will continue when the trial resumes at 8:30 a.m. today.
A FORMER CASPER OBSTETRICIAN/GYNECOLOGIST WHO WAS CONVICTED LAST MONTH OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TWO PATIENTS WAS DENIED A NEW TRIAL IN THAT MATTER, AFTER HE ENTERED A GUILTY PLEA IN A SEPARATE CASE THURSDAY MORNING IN NATRONA COUNTY DISTRICT COURT.
IN THE DRUG CASE, PAUL MICHAEL HARNETTY PLEADED GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED POSSESSION OF NANDROLONE, A FELONY WHICH IS PUNISHABLE BY UP TO FIVE YEARS IMPRISONMENT AND A FINE OF $10,000.
ACCORDING AN AFFIDAVIT, HARNETTY ORDERED 12 BOTTLES OF THE SYNTHETIC STEROID NANDROLONE, WHICH IS A SCHEDULE-THREE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. HARNETTY ORDERED THE DRUG FROM A PERSON KNOWN AS J. WANG, WHO RAN AN ONLINE BUSINESS BASED IN CHINA.
A LITTLE OVER AN HOUR AFTER HARNETTY ENTERED HIS GUILTY PLEA BEFORE DISTRICT JUDGE THOMAS SULLINS, SULLINS -- IN A SEPARATE HEARING -- DENIED THREE MOTIONS FILED BY ATTORNEY JOHN MINER ON BEHALF OF HARNETTY: REQUESTS FOR ARREST OF JUDGEMENT, ACQUITTAL AND A NEW TRIAL ON THE SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES OF WHICH HARNETTY WAS CONVICTED LAST MONTH.
ARGUING FOR ROUGHLY HALF AN HOUR IN SUPPORT OF THE MOTIONS, MINER CONTENDED THAT THE JURY CONVICTED HARNETTY OF A CRIME WITH WHICH HE WAS NOT CHARGED.
ACCORDING TO MINER, A VICTIM TESTIFIED AT TRIAL TO HAVING BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY HARNETTY IN DECEMBER 2013 OR JANUARY 2014. BASED UPON HER TESTIMONY, MINER SAID, THE JURY CONVICTED HARNETTY OF SECOND-DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT.
BUT, MINER SAID, THE CHARGE WAS BOUND OVER TO DISTRICT COURT FOLLOWING A PRELIMINARY HEARING BASED ON PROBABLE CAUSE ESTABLISHED THROUGH A DETECTIVE'S TESTIMONY REGARDING TWO DIFFERENT ALLEGED INCIDENTS, NOT THE INCIDENT TO WHICH THE VICTIM TESTIFIED AT TRIAL.
MINER ARGUED THAT HARNETTY COULD NOT BE CONVICTED OF A CHARGE FOR WHICH PROBABLE CAUSE WAS NOT FOUND AT THE PRELIMINARY HEARING.
ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY KEVIN TAHERI RESPONDED BY SAYING THE INCIDENT TO WHICH THE VICTIM TESTIFIED FELL WITHIN THE DATES OUTLINED IN CHARGING PAPERS, ALSO QUALIFIED AS SECOND-DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT, AND INVOLVED THE SAME VICTIM, SO THE CRIME WAS CORRECTLY CHARGED.