Murder, burglary trial: Hair to be photographed, then tested

-A A +A
By Linda Ireland

Defense and prosecuting attorneys in a Buffalo murder case have been arguing about the testing of a single hair found at the alleged crime scene since February.

Monday, they came to an agreement: The hair will undergo mitochondrial DNA testing at a Minnesota lab – after it has been photographed microscopically.

Joanne Lynch, a staff attorney at Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy, represents Abdullah Rahman White, the Radcliff man charged with the December 2011 murder of 28-year-old Kristie Lynne Allen. She took over for Josian Passalacqua of Frankfort, who represented White for about a year.

Lynch said she had looked over the information about DNA testing and agreed to have it done.

The DNA test will destroy the hair – but taking a photograph before the test is done will not alter the hair physically or chemically, she said. She offered to draw up the court order.

LaRue Circuit Judge Jack Seay said (about photographing the hair), “It would make sense to do so.”

Commonwealth Attorney Terry Geoghegan did not object.

Last month, the judge ruled the state would bear the cost of the DNA test at the Federal Bureau of Investigation lab.

Prosecutors believe Samantha JoDale Kolley was inside the house with White during the alleged crime, according to Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Whitney Meredith. The hair, if it matches Kolley’s, would place her inside the house, Meredith said.

The Kentucky State Police crime lab processed the hair, finding it did not match White’s or the homeowner’s. It shares characteristics with Kolley’s hair but the test is inconclusive.

White is accused of asphyxiating Allen and attempting to move her body from a Buffalo residence where she was house-sitting for a friend. Kolley is charged with burglarizing the house, tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.

The outcome of the DNA test could impact whether White and Kolley have separate trials, attorneys said.

A tentative date of Oct. 22 was set for trial by jury. However, the delay in testing the hair could move that date back, attorneys said.

White is being housed in the Hart County Detention Center under a $2 million bond. Kolley is at the Hardin County Detention Center under a $50,000 cash bond.

The next review is July 15.