Christmas wishes came true this year for Janice Porter, a Louisville resident whose son, Kerry, was exonerated and released from the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex this Monday. Mr. Porter has been imprisoned for 14 years for the 1996 shooting death of his ex-girlfriend’s husband, a crime he has always insisted he did not commit.
Melanie Lowe, attorney with the Kentucky Innocence Project, has been working on Porter’s case for the past 5 years and contacted DNA Diagnostics Center to provide the forensic DNA expertise on previously untested evidence in the case. Because DNA testing was not readily available and/or reliable at the time of Porter’s trial, the Innocence Project asked for DNA testing to be completed on the crime scene evidence.
The forensic analysts at DDC (DNA Diagnostics Center) conducted extensive testing on duct tape used to make a homemade gun silencer found at the crime scene. DNA analysis of this key piece of evidence excluded Kerry Porter as a contributor to the DNA identified on the duct tape. The Louisville Metro Police Department’s cold-case unit, led by Detective Sgt. Denny Butler, worked closely with the Innocence Project in the investigation of this case and was instrumental in the dismissal of charges and Mr. Porter’s exoneration.
Post-conviction DNA analysis, which often includes testing severely degraded or difficult samples, is nothing new to the experts at DDC Forensics. Since 2006, DNA Diagnostics Center has played a critical role in the exoneration of wrongfully imprisoned individuals in several states. Working effectively with law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and Innocence Project lawyers is as crucial to the process as high quality laboratory procedures. Today, DDC is proudly assisting Innocence Network projects nationwide. It is DDC’s mission to provide impartial, unbiased DNA testing for all who seek the truth.