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Judge Denies Retrial Despite DNA

December 21, 2000

GREENWOOD, S.C. (AP) _ DNA testing on a single hair failed to win a new trial Thursday for a man on death row for 18 years for the rape and murder of a 75-year-old widow.

Defense attorneys said Edward Lee Elmore couldn’t be the killer because genetic analysis showed that a public hair found at the scene was from a white person. Elmore is black.

``One hair isn’t enough,″ Circuit Judge J. Ernest Kinard Jr. ruled.

Elmore, 41, was condemend for the slaying of Dorothy Edwards, who was stabbed 52 times in 1982. He has never faced an execution date.

Prosecutors discounted the unidentified hair, saying it could have been picked up when Edwards’ body was dragged across the carpet.

Elmore said he will appeal to the state Supreme Court. ``I never committed this crime,″ he said.

Defense attorney John Blume showed the judge several loose hairs found on Edwards’ body. All but one hair belonged to the victim.

Testifying five years ago, a forensics investigator had identified the evidence as blue fibers, not hair, but said they were missing. Then, in 1999, he said the hair had turned up in a filing cabinet.

``Lies about what it was, where it was, again cast suspicion in this case,″ Blume said.

Prosecutors said the mistake was disclosed when it was discovered.

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