Day two of death row inmate Hank Skinner's evidentiary hearing - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Day two of death row inmate Hank Skinner's evidentiary hearing

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It was back and forth between the State and Hank Skinner's defense team, arguing over DNA, something so small, that could  make a huge difference.

The State still says evidence collected from the 1993 crime scene links Hank Skinner to the murder of Twila Busby and her two sons.

But Skinner's defense team says there are some unusual findings, like hairs on Busby's hand that may link someone else, other than Skinner, to the murder.

Robert Owen has been Skinner's attorney for more than 10 years.

"Whether there is an appeal right now is hard to tell. If we prevail and the state throws in the towel, then there wouldn't be an appeal,conversely if the  state prevails, we would explore our options for an appeal," he told us after the hearing wrapped up Tuesday afternoon.

He claims hairs found on Busby's hands point to her uncle, Robert Donnell as the real killer. 

"The states evidence about the hairs and them being dissimilar to the hairs of Twila Busby and her sons was not something the state retreated from," he said. 

But the State argued those hair samples were not sufficient enough to extract necessary DNA.

A Forensic Scientist with the Department of Public Safety says raw data from DNA tests show that Skinner's DNA profile can not be eliminated from 6 out of the 8 blood stains found on the knife that was used as a murder weapon.

The state also showed Skinner's DNA profile was present on at least 8 other pieces of evidence, ranging from a door knob, to a  comforter in the boy's bedroom.

But the defense says there is too much reasonable doubt surrounding the evidence.

A DNA expert for the defense testified that evidence was not properly stored, causing much of the original DNA to decompose. 

Now that the State and Skinner's defense team have rested, they are working on putting together a report to present to the County Judge before any further decisions about a possible appeal are made. 

 

UPDATE:

Pampa, TX -  Day two has just come to a close after some 6 hours of discussion, both the state and Hank Skinner's defense team have rested their cases.  

What happens next, is both sides will submit a proposed fining report, basically explaining to the judge why they think he should side with them. After court transcripts are filed, the state and the defense team have 21 days to make those reports. After three weeks, the judge will make a decision.

No official decision has been made regarding death row inmate Hank Skinner. Over the last two days, his defense team tried to create reasonable doubt surrounding evidence that was collected from the 1993 crime scene. The state says DNA points to Skinner as the killer of Twila Busby and her two sons.

When a decision is made by the judge based off of Tuesday's hearing we will bring you the update.  


PREVIOUS STORY:

Pampa, TX - Day two of death row inmate Hank Skinner's evidentiary hearing is underway this afternoon.

State attorneys and Skinner's defense team met up again this morning in the Gray County Courthouse in Pampa.

A forensic scientist with the Department of Public Safety gave his testimony for the state today, saying further DNA testing continues to highlight Skinner's guilt.

Skinner is convicted of killing Twila Busby and her two sons in 1993.

Cross examination wrapped this afternoon and a decision by the judge is expected to come down soon. 

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