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DNA results cannot determine involvement of Walker Middle School suspects in rape

TAMPA — A state crime lab analyst could not determine whether traces of DNA found on a hockey stick and a broom belong to the four teenage suspects in the Walker Middle School rape case.

Randall John Moye III, 14, Lee Louis Myers, 15, Raymond Price-Murray, 14, and Diemante J. Roberts, 15, were charged with sexual assault after being accused by one of their flag football teammates last spring.

The victim said Roberts and Price-Murray used a broom handle and hockey stick to assault him while Moye and Myers held him down, and that he was attacked 10 to 12 times during a two-month period.

The four suspects have pleaded not guilty.

State crime lab tests showed that the victim's DNA was present on the hockey stick along with DNA from at least two other individuals.

Investigators obtained DNA samples from the suspects, but lab analyst Mary Pacheco said that because the DNA left on the evidence is a mixture from different people, she could not determine whether any of it came from the suspects.

Norman Cannella Sr., an attorney for Myers, said the inconclusive results work in favor of the defense.

"It's of no value to the state," he said. "It's not what the state hoped for, I'm sure."

Assistant State Attorney Kim Hindman could not be reached Wednesday.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 225-3354.

DNA results cannot determine involvement of Walker Middle School suspects in rape 12/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 3, 2009 12:00am]
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