A self-represented accused killer is laying out for a Toronto jury the possibility his DNA was either innocently transferred or planted under the fingernails of the victim’s right hand.
“It’s important to know DNA is not transferred only in the commission of a crime,” Michael Ivezic said during his cross-examination of forensic biologist Kimberley Sharpe.
There may be “so-called innocent transfer” prior to the “crime event” or put there, via tampering or contamination, after the fact, he stated.
Sharpe agreed it is possible that DNA could be deposited before or after a crime. But she rejected the suggestion the sample she analyzed in this case was contaminated after it was collected from Allan Lanteigne’s fingernails during the autopsy.
The coroner has documented procedures for the collection of samples, she said, adding, “I do not see any time in which the item could have been tampered with.”
Ivezic and his former lover, Demitry Papasotiriou-Lanteigne, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder of the latter’s husband. The Crown alleges the pair arranged the murder in order to collect a $2 million life insurance policy.
Papasotiriou-Lanteigne was in Europe at the time of the March 2, 2011 slaying. Ivezic is alleged to have beaten Lanteigne to death in the foyer of his home on Ossington Ave.
Ivezic is representing himself after firing his lawyer mid-trial.
Last week, Sharpe, who works at the Centre of Forensic Sciences, took the stand as the Crown’s expected last witness. She testified it’s almost certain the DNA profile found under Lanteigne’s fingernails matches DNA belonging to Ivezic.
On Tuesday, during his second-day of cross-examination, Ivezic asked Sharpe about organic material found beneath Lanteigne’s fingernails.
“You did not find any large pieces of skin under Mr. Lanteigne’s fingernails, correct?,” he asked.
“There was no indication that there was something . . . visibly adherent to the nails,” she replied.
“If you ended up with chunks of skin under Mr. Lanteigne’s fingernails, with blood, with my blood, under his fingernails, that could . . . be an interesting tie in, correct,” Ivezic said.
The forensic biologist explained it would be difficult for her to identify skin found under someone’s fingernails.
“So you don’t end up with chunks of skin . . . when somebody’s that’s been clawing for his life,” Ivezic said moving his hand in a scratching action.
“I have not had that, experience to see chunks of skin, blood yes, but not chunks of skin that are visibly detected . . . we don’t test for that.”
The trial continues Wednesday.