St. Augustine police find DNA match in 2007 jewelry theft

Police regularly use DNA and other high-tech forensic evidence to nab people accused of murder, rape and other violent crimes. But a jewelry heist? St. Augustine detectives have, and say DNA evidence has led them to Shawn Slattery, a former employee of Vaccaro Estate Jewelry, according to a report in the St. Augustine Record. When the robbery was reported in 2007, police found the front door and several jewelry cases smashed. An officer found blood on a shard of glass and submitted it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, but no match was found at the time, the newspaper reported.

Now, a match has come back to Slattery, though it is not clear why it did not match the first time. By now, Slattery is on the lam and police are trying to hunt him down. The owner reported nearly $100,000 of merchandise missing and police said Slattery would not have been in the store as an employee to have his blood in the store. DNA is a complicated science and while the TV crime dramas lead people to believe DNA is an iron-clad lock, there are actually several degrees to a “match.” The details of the scientific report will tell how exact of a match it is. For example, in some cases it can be as vague as the DNA could belong to one of every four African American men or one of every 10 Caucasian women. Hardly iron clad.

Our St. Johns County criminal defense lawyer knows what to look for in a DNA report and has a Rolodex of experts who can testify on the nuances of the evidence – or lack thereof. If you need a criminal defense attorney in St. Augustine or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our St. Johns County grand theft lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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