Senior Criminologist Testifies in Ongoing Berkley-Kelso Attempted Murder Trial

By Ashleen Herrarte

WOODLAND, CA – The jury trial of Isaiah Berkley and Theo Kelso for attempted murder reconvened Friday at Yolo County Superior Court with testimony from Senior Criminologist Stephanie Carpenter.

Back in February of 2019, Berkley and Kelso were charged with multiple crimes including attempted murder, assault, and attempted second-degree robbery.

This is a case that has two alleged victims who were threatened with firearms and one who was allegedly shot by one of the suspects. The case is being handled by Judge Tom Dyer.

Benjamin Williams, defense attorney for Kelso, called Stephanie Carpenter, a police senior criminologist who did DNA analysis in the case.

Williams then asked Carpenter about the two samples she examined which were from a mask and a steering wheel. In order to be able to connect this to either Berkley or Kelso, there would also be a reference sample that Carpenter would look at. Carpenter explained that references samples were known samples from the individuals.

To examine these samples, first Carpenter said she had to isolate the DNA, then do an extraction, quantitation, and finally amplification. After she had done this there was also a control sample that was used in order to get true and accurate results of the samples tested.

Carpenter explained that when it comes to DNA, there are different contributions with short repeats which lead to everyone having two peaks. If there is more than one person’s DNA present then there will be more than two peaks.

When it came to the samples she tested, the first was from the mask which had a mixture of four people’s DNA, including the accused, Kelso. The steering wheel sample had a mixture of two people’s DNA, including that of Kelso.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Richardson noted that co-accused Berkley had not been mentioned when it came to the results of the samples and Carpenter explained that there had been four unknown contributors.

Additionally, she was asked whether DNA could be transferred and/or removed with a glove. She said no, and added DNA could be removed if it was cleaned off.

The trial will take next week off, and resume April 25, according to the judge.

About The Author

Ashleen is a third-year double major in political science/international affairs and philosophy at UC Riverside. She is anticipating to graduate by Spring 2022 and continue her studies Law School in hopes of pursuing her career goal of being a judge.

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