King’s DNA found on alleged murder weapon

Accused murderer Denecho King leaves the scene of the crime, Sunridge apartment, last month during a field trip by the trial participants.
John McFadden/CKLB News photo

A civilian RCMP DNA expert has testified that accused murderer Denecho King’s DNA was found on two swords, one of which is alleged to have been used to kill John Wifladt, in December of 2014 in Yellowknife.

Edmonton-based scientist Kenneth Hunter was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, day 17 of the 25-year-old King’s second degree murder and attempted murder trial.

He testified that he found King’s DNA on the handles of both ornamental swords owned by Colin Digness. the man who survived the attack that killed Wifladt, but with serious wounds.

Hunter says the chances of the DNA samples being someone other than King’s range from one in 53 billion to one in 4.3 trillion.

He also testified that he can not say how King’s DNA was transferred to the swords nor when it happened.

He says it was likely transferred to the swords from King’s skin cells, sweat or saliva.

King’s fingerprints were never found on the swords or anywhere else at the murder scene – an apartment rented by Digness.

The only other identifiable DNA on either sword was Wifladt’s which was found on the butt of the handle of one of the weapons.

Earlier testimony revealed Wifladt’s blood was on one of the swords while Digness’s was on the other.

Hunter started his testimony describing the intricate science of analyzing DNA – essentially a genetic profile – unique to each individual.

He says he never actually saw the swords themselves, only photos of them.

Hunter says the DNA samples he analyzed where taken from the swords by another DNA expert at the RCMP’s forensic identification lab in Edmonton.

He is to be back on the witness stand Wednesday morning for cross-examination by King’s lawyer Jay Bran.

After the day’s proceedings ended, Bran said outside court that he is not at all surprised by the evidence and that it does not change his contention that it was a sloppy investigation by the Mounties who Bran says may have contaminated the evidence.

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