OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Scientists should re-examine blood and fiber evidence used to convict a man and send him to death row for a 1993 triple homicide, the attorney general's office said Tuesday.
Federal and local law officers investigating Oklahoma City police chemist Joyce Gilchrist recommended the case against Michael Edward Hooper for review.
Gilchrist, who is accused of misinterpreting hair and fiber evidence in several cases, testified at Hooper's trial.
The FBI recently did a DNA test on blood on Hooper's shoe and determined it was consistent with blood from a mother and two children murdered and dumped in a shallow grave in western Oklahoma County. The shooting victims were Cindy Jarman, Hooper's 23-year-old ex-girlfriend, and her children, Tonya, 5, and Timmy, 3.
But the attorney general's office wants to retest blood and fiber evidence because other evidence against Hooper was circumstantial.
``Even though DNA testing by the FBI and the defense expert put the victim's blood on Hooper's shoes, our approach in this investigation has been to ask for retesting on Ms. Gilchrist's analysis if the case was circumstantial,'' said Gerald Adams, public information director for Attorney General Drew Edmondson. ``This request for retesting fits that approach.''
The office recently reviewed a second death row case involving Gilchrist, but decided there is no need for further testing. Randall Eugene Cannon, convicted in the 1985 rape and murder of 84-year-old Addie Hawley, admitted to his participation in the crime.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation criminalists have completed 136 case file reviews of Gilchrist's work and 28 have been identified for additional review.
Gilchrist, who is on paid administrative leave, has defended her work.
An FBI report said Gilchrist misidentified hair and fiber evidence in at least five cases, including that of Jeff Pierce, who was convicted of rape. He spent 15 years in prison before being freed May 7 after DNA testing of semen confirmed his innocence.