GBI experts discuss DNA in Daker trial
by Kim Isaza
September 20, 2012 01:27 AM | 6502 views | 21 21 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Waseem Daker
Waseem Daker
slideshow
Karmen Smith
Karmen Smith
slideshow
MARIETTA — Jurors in the Waseem Daker trial heard the first testimony Wednesday about DNA evidence in the 1995 murder of Karmen Smith and the nonfatal stabbing of her young son, Nickolas, though not yet about any that links Daker to the crime scene.

At least four current or former GBI scientists took the stand, reviewing for jurors their findings on hair and blood samples found at the Smiths’ east Cobb residence.

Daker, who is acting as his own attorney, disputed the state’s contention that two of the scientists are qualified experts. Superior Court Judge Mary E. Staley allowed the testimony.

Ted Staples, now an assistant deputy director at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab, has worked there since 1986 and told the jury about advances in technologies related to DNA evidence.

“It’s phenomenal what we can do in just the last eight years,” he said.

Prosecutors intend to show later that nuclear DNA tests on hairs found on Karmen Smith’s body link Daker to her killing. Nuclear DNA is taken from the nucleus of a cell and differs from mitochondrial DNA in that it can identify someone to the exclusion of all others except an identical twin, Staples said.

But the ability to do nuclear DNA test on a single hair that has part of the root “didn’t take off until the year 2000 or 2001,” he testified.

Staples also told jurors that blood found on a table and floor in the Smith home was consistent with Nickolas Smith, and blood found on a sweater and shirt in the home was consistent with Karmen Smith.

Sidney Seguin, a forensic biologist at the GBI’s crime lab, said DNA tests on blood from a knife at the scene matched Nickolas Smith.

After Daker questioned Sequin about her education and training, he told the judge he did not believe she was qualified as an expert — but he didn’t ask her any questions during cross examination.

Wednesday marked the sixth day of testimony in the trial. The trial is slated to last three weeks, though it is unlikely that the state will rest its case before next week.

Daker, now 34, was born in Toronto to Syrian parents and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. As a teenager, he interned in the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s office. He was also enrolled at Georgia Tech while still in his teens.

In 1996, Daker was convicted of stalking Smith’s upstairs housemate, Loretta Spencer Blatz, and spent 10 years in prison.

Karmen Smith was 30 and a Delta flight attendant when she was killed in her home in the Hunter’s Trace subdivision off Johnson Ferry Road. Smith and her son lived in a basement apartment at 1580 Old Hunter’s Trace, an apartment where Spencer Blatz had previously lived.

Nickolas Smith, who is now 22, testified on Tuesday about the attack that occurred when he was a kindergartener.
Comments
(21)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
GAgirl06
|
September 28, 2012
It's interesting that there isn't a link for people to have the option to reply to any of uncle d's comments. He is obviously Nick's uncle, but that does not mean he knows or understands all of the evidence and/or facts. He is posting partially correct information, with(an understandable) bias.
Tonk
|
September 25, 2012
What color eyes does the boys father/ex husband have?
GAgirl06
|
September 28, 2012
Not blue.
has a brain
|
September 21, 2012
chris you are an idiot
Mrs. Dion Ray
|
September 20, 2012
So they only have one hair that connects Daker to the crime scene? And he was actually in her home before as an invited guest? Something is not right here.

Mr. Chris Ray
|
September 20, 2012
Get in the kitchen and make me some bacon and eggs, would ya?
Uncle D
|
September 20, 2012
He was never there as an invited guest .She moved from Fulton county to Cobb to get away from this sick mf .

He is criminally insane and very smart , he worked in the medical examiners office , he knew how to do it .

Who else would have done this ???

He threatened to do it several times .

Are you stupid ?? newer mind I already know !!!!!!!
a question
|
September 20, 2012
why has it taken this many years for this case to come to trial?
thomas andrews
|
September 20, 2012
because the technology to do these tests wasn't around then.
anonymous
|
September 20, 2012
My heart goes out to the victims in this case, who I can relate to because of same ages and I was also a single mother at that time and in the same area.

It is so good to see that the little boy grew up to be such a fine young man, despite his loss. Please know that our family is praying for your continued healing, as well as justice for the perpetrator, who altered your life so much. Your momma is an angel in heaven, no doubt looking down upon you with great pride and love. Best of luck to you. Be strong. People really do care.
uncle d
|
September 21, 2012
thanks for your loving kind words

we will pass this along to him
necobbmom
|
September 20, 2012
To the MDJ why do you find it necessary to keep running these stories with a picture of the accused? Please think responsibly and quit giving him facetime in this coverage.
Sammybean
|
September 20, 2012
Because the "accused" needs to have a fair portrayal. Innocent until proven guilty. Not automatically assumed to be guitly due to circumstantial evidence.
Chris Mullins
|
September 21, 2012
So the guy was wearing a mask, supposedly had blue eyes, and they're getting this brown-eyed guy who's probably been in the house before for whatever reason because they found a hair on the body in a house that may have very well had them from previous visits. That's the hair that the prosecution's case is hanging by?

Being a creeper doesn't make you a murderer.
Contact Lenses
|
September 21, 2012
Being a creaper doesn't necessarily make you innocent either.
Contact Lenses
|
September 21, 2012
Being a creaper who leaves hair at a murder scene leaves one to believe that you have a very high probability of being the murder.
uncle d
|
September 21, 2012
chris mullins .

do you think you could tell what color someones eyes are that stabbed you 18 times
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides