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Judge Clears Fingernail Evidence in 1989 Killing

Associated Press
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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois judge has approved certain genetic evidence for use in the trial of a man accused in a decades-old killing of a teenager.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports St. Clair County Circuit Judge Zina Cruse has ruled that possible DNA evidence found under the fingernails of 1989 murder victim Nicole Willis is admissible.

An attorney for defendant 52-year-old Carlos Garrett has argued such evidence should be excluded because of admittedly questionable evidence handling in the case by Centreville police.

Prosecutors allege the evidence links Garrett to the death of 16-year-old Willis. Her naked, beaten and strangled body was found in a field near her home.

Garrett’s trial now is scheduled to begin May 19. He has pleaded not guilty.

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