Suspect acquitted: Scientific evidence bolsters defence

Assault Offences: Suspect Acquitted

Science won out over sensory perception yesterday when a Calgary jury acquitted a robbery suspect.

Four eyewitnesses linked RMM to the scene of the crime, but DNA evidence said he wasn’t there.

RMM was charged with the Dec. 7, 1996, armed robbery of Vladimir Gaca. Gaca testified that a fare put a handgun to his head and demanded cash.

During an ensuing struggle, Gaca was pistol-whipped and was cut, before wresting the gun from his attacker and striking back. Gaca identified RMM.

Two other witnesses said a pager dropped at the scene by the robber was earlier in RMM’ possession.

Another witness said he saw the accused minutes after the robbery wearing similar clothing to the bandit’s and looking as if he had been in a fight.

But defence lawyer Pat Fagan was able to call two DNA experts who testified two separate blood samples were found on the butt of the handgun.

One sample belonged to Gaca and the other didn’t belong to RMM, they said.

Jurors deliberated four hours before finding him not guilty of three charges.

Patrick Fagan

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