A second crime scene technician testified Tuesday to finding no latent fingerprints on a fence behind the house on Swann Street NW where attorney Robert Wone was found murdered in 2006.
Three suspects charged with covering up Wone’s killing have long maintained that an unknown intruder broke-in and stabbed their friend.
On the witness stand Tuesday, evidence technician Robert McCollum described his painstaking process of searching for fingerprints at the crime scene.
Though McCollum’s boss earlier testified to not dusting the fence a phantom burglar supposedly alighted before entering the house and killing Wone, McCollum did. McCollum said he dusted the fence as far as he could reach to the top. He said he didn’t dust the flat surface at the very top of the fence because there was a layer of “dirt or dust” and determined “nothing was disturbed,” leading him to conclude no one had touched it.
McCollum dusted plenty of other spots, like the butcher block the knife that might have been plunged in Wone was taken from. He only found prints in the guest room where Wone was killed. He said he found several prints on a desk located in the room, as well as two on the nightstand upon where police found a kitchen knife marked with Wone’s blood. McCollum didn’t indicate who the seven prints might have belonged to.
On cross-examination, defense attorney David Schertler challenged the notion that a lack of fingerprint evidence meant anything because, for a variety of reasons, prints don’t always show up. Schertler asked if the lack of fingerprints on the back fence meant that no one had climbed it. McCollum admitted it didn’t. “Even if fifty people had gone in and out of that gate that night,” said Schertler.
McCollom agreed that was possible.