February 23, 2019

Experts testify about bodily fluids at scene

Jacob DeRochie/contributing photographer

Cortland County District Attorney Patrick Perfetti asks questions Monday of Richard Brunt, a state police forensic investigator, who examined hair samples found within cracked wallboard at 11 Elm St., McGraw, where Kassidy Dains died April 19, 2018. Brunt testified during day four of the trial for Dorain Bohn, who faces murder and manslaughter charges.

Forensic experts testified Monday they found blood in 2-year-old Kassidy Dains’ genital areas, fecal matter in her mouth, and identified her hair next to a hole in a wall, as the trial of Dorain Bohn on murder charges continued in Cortland County Court.

Dorain Bohn, 29, originally from Buffalo, is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, felonies, in the April 19 death of Kassidy Dains. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

The prosecution continued calling witnesses Monday; including Cortland County sheriff’s investigators and state police forensics experts.

State police forensic scientist Michelle Maura said swabs taken from Kassidy Dains’ mouth contained blood and very low levels of prostate specific antigen, a substance that can either be found in seminal fluid or found naturally postmortem.

She also testified to finding blood on swabs taken from several locations among Kassidy’s genitals, though no evidence of seminal fluid was found on those swabs.

Public Defender Keith Dayton pointed out most of the tests are not conclusive — with the finding of sperm on one blanket being the only conclusive one.

“Our screening test doesn’t tell us for sure there is blood,” Maura said. Tests can be thrown off by certain bacteria or detergents, she said. And the weak positive PSA finding could either be linked to high concentrations of seminal fluid, or sometimes found in postmortem samples.

New York state police forensic investigator Cheryl Moorehead said fecal matter was found in Kassidy Dains’ mouth and blood and seminal fluid on a zebra-striped blanket found in the living room.

She also identified a hair as Kassidy’s found next to a hole in the drywall of a hallway — a section of wall that Cortland County sheriff’ Sgt. John Gallagher showed to jurors. The hole was 29 inches from the floor, and about 5 inches in width.

“The DNA profile of the hair matched the DNA profile of Kassidy Dains,” Moorehead said.

Cortland County sheriff’s Sgt. Chad Burhans testified he found five empty 15-milliliter vodka bottles in a torn paper bag as well has partially full beer cans and antihistamine medication at the McGraw residence after Kassidy’s death, when the death was considered accidental.

Dayton questioned why investigators photographed only evidence that could be incriminating to Bohn, rather than also looking for evidence that could tend to exonerate him.

He questioned why DNA wasn’t taken from the top bunk bed, from where Bohn said Kassidy fell, or why photos that Bohn suggested Kassidy may have reached for from the bunk bed, precipitating a fall, weren’t taken into evidence for fingerprints. He also questioned why investigators didn’t try to find the DNA of Krystal Dains, Kassidy’s mother, on the bottles.

Burhans said the DNA and fingerprints of residents of the house would be expected on these items.

At one point, Burhans pulled a pair of pink, zip-up pajamas out of an evidence bag. Samples revealed blood stains that matched Kassidy’s DNA profile.

Krystal Dains, watching from the front row, wiped away tears.

Testimony continued today.

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