Denver Police announce 'potential DNA processing error' affecting cases from 2011

Press briefing scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

DENVER - Denver Police say some DNA samples processed in 2011 may have been associated with the wrong cases.

During a 1:30 p.m. briefing, department spokesman Matt Murray explained that the error is related to a machine that froze on June 13, 2011, while analyzing 24 samples from 11 property crime cases. The crime lab contacted the machine's manufacturer, got instructions for a fix and went back to work.

The machine froze a second time, on Nov. 22, 2013, at which time technicians again requested instructions.

They noticed the instructions seemed different than the previous time and conducted a review. Murray said the review found the samples from the 2011 glitch had been rearranged incorrectly on the testing tray before work resumed.

"The way we found this was our employees conducting a very high level of quality control," Murray said.

The error meant some of the DNA testing results could have been associated with the incorrect cases.

Murray said only three of the affected cases had any type of court action.

"We are looking at those now to determine what kind of role DNA played in court," he said.

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