Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bulletin: Hank Skinner: Texas; His attorney's argue in a court filing Skinner that a third round of DNA tests conducted by an independent lab point to Hank Skinner's uncle as the killer; But the government says the results point conclusively to Skinner's guilt. Court hearing set for February 3 and 4. Reporter Timothy P. Howsare; The Pampa News.

STORY: " Skinner attorneys: DNA match points to uncle as the killer," by reporter Timothy P.  Howsare published by the Pampa News on January 2, 2014;

GIST: "An advisory submitted to the 31st District Court in Pampa and the Texas Attorney General’s office by convicted murderer Hank Skinner’s attorneys points to Robert Donnell, Twila Busby’s deceased uncle, as the real killer in the triple homicide that occurred on New Year’s Eve in 1993.
In the advisory, submitted in August, Skinner’s attorneys, Douglas Robinson and Robert Owen, cite results of a third round of DNA tests performed by an independent laboratory in Lorton, Va.

Robinson and Owen have represented Skinner for more than a decade and have represented other death-row inmates. The attorneys will be presenting evidence to support Skinner’s innocence at an evidentiary hearing scheduled for Feb. 3 and 4 in Pampa. The court also will consider evidence presented by the state. Robinson and Owen could not say at this time if Skinner will be present at the hearing. The state Attorney General’s Office has taken over the case and will present the state’s case at the hearing. Now in his early 50s, Skinner has been on death row in Texas longer than any other inmate. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed his execution less than an hour before he was scheduled to die. The first two rounds of DNA testing were performed by the Department of Public Safety’s Crime Lab in Lubbock. In its advisory to the court, the Texas Attorney General’s Office wrote the DNA tests overwhelmingly showed that Skinner murdered Busby, his live-in girlfriend, and her two sons......... The attorneys called the results from the other three hairs as “significant and exculpatory.” “The mitochondrial DNA testing showed that those three hairs came from the maternally related line of persons that included the victims,” the attorneys wrote. “However, microscopic visual examination by the DPS crime lab has already excluded the victims themselves as potential sources for these visually distinct hairs. Therefore, the hairs must have come from a maternal relative of the victims. And while such relatives might have visited the house from time to time, it is highly unlikely that three of their hairs would have found their way into Ms. Busby’s hands by incidental contact. “These mitochondrial DNA test results are exculpatory because they support the inference that Robert Donnell — a maternal relative of the victims and the man who stalked Ms. Busby and frightened her with crude sexual advances at a New Year’s Eve party less than an hour before she was murdered — committed the crimes, rather than Mr. Skinner.” Owens and Robinson claim the inference from the DNA tests is reinforced by the following circumstances: • Donnell regularly and violently threatened his own wife with bodily harm and death. • Donnell showed absolutely no emotion when informed by the police that his niece and her two sons had been murdered. • Donnell was seen franticallywashingouthis vehicle — scrubbing his old pickup truck down to the metal floorboards with an astringent cleaner — just two days after the murders. • Donnell has been identified by a witness as the owner of a blood-stained windbreaker jacket found next to Twila Busby’s body, which police collected as evidence from the crime scene and submitted to the crime laboratory in 1994. At present, the state claims to have lost this jacket, so it cannot be subjected to DNA testing. The attorneys conclude in their advisory that in light of these circumstances and others, it is apparent that the doubts about Skinner’s guilt are far too weighty to allow his execution to proceed."
The entire story can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

 I look forward to hearing from readers at: