The trial of Demonta Chappell was delayed Monday after his defense team failed to submit their DNA evidence before the start of trial. Judge Jennifer Anderson ruled that the case be carried for trial so the U.S. Attorney’s office would have enough time to consult with the government’s expert.
Nearly one year ago, a grand jury indicted Chappell on five criminal charges, including premeditated first-degree murder, in relation to the shooting death of 26-year-old Stevann Moorer.
Moorer was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in October 2012, in the 500 block of Parkland Place Southeast. Chappell was arrested in February 2013 in connection with his death.
At a status hearing on Aug. 22, Judge Anderson granted the defense motion to have DNA tested as long as defense attorneys found a lab who could ensure that the results would be submitted by the Sept. 8 trial date.
But on Sept. 3, the defense said DNA testing would not be completed in time to start trial. Judge Anderson rescheduled the jury trial for Sept. 15.
On Monday, Chappell’s attorneys said that preliminary DNA findings from a shell casing at the scene show a partial profile of multiple DNA contributors, none of whom are Chappell. They requested an additional week to finalize their evidence.
Prosecutors said Monday that they needed to have the lab’s findings in order to offer rebuttal testimony. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis, the government had only heard an oral report of the expert’s findings, but received “no report and no data.”
Judge Anderson scheduled a hearing for Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. to hear expert testimony, and added that said she will have more information regarding a new trial date at that time.