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Courts and Crime

Convicted killer asks Ohio Supreme Court for new DNA test
Portage County Prosecutor says a new test won't matter because of the testimony

Karen Kasler

The Ohio Supreme Court will decide if a convicted killer on death row can have some DNA evidence from his case retested twenty years after the crime. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, the prosecutor in the case says there’s no need for a retest – because the results won’t matter.

Kasler on DNA retest

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When 40 year old Tyrone Noling was convicted of killing a Portage County couple in 1996, DNA testing on a cigarette butt found in the driveway of the victims’ home excluded him as a suspect. But a test did not exclude a nearby resident, Daniel Wilson, who was later convicted of another murder. Noling’s legal team asked for a new DNA test in 2008, and then again after a 2010 law allowing some retesting of DNA passed because of improved technology. But the trial court refused, saying a defendant can’t ask for the same test twice. Carrie Wood with the Ohio Innocence Project says Noling deserves a new test to determine if the DNA on the cigarette is Wilson’s.

“Mr. Noling is innocent of the crime, and that he, at the very least, deserves a new trial. He does not deserve to be on death row.”

But Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci says because Noling was convicted on testimony, not DNA, a new test wouldn’t matter. Wilson was executed in 2009, but his DNA is in the state’s database.

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