MIA ZAPATA Murder Trial: DNA Link Challenged

Christine Clarridge of the Seattle Times reports that jurors in the trial of Jesus Mezquia — charged with killing THE GITS singer Mia Zapata in 1993 — may have to decide whether Mezquia's DNA, which authorities say was found in bite wounds on her body, is enough to convict him of murder.

In opening statements before a courtroom packed with friends and relatives of Zapata, Deputy Prosecutor Tim Bradshaw said the case is an example of the triumph of advanced DNA technology as a tool for solving old cases.

"This case took a decade to solve, and not every question will be answered," said Bradshaw. "But the evidence that was previously left in the darkness has now been illuminated in a laboratory and will be seen in the light of this courtroom."

Zapata, 27, was last seen alive at 2 a.m. on a July morning by a girlfriend, who told police Zapata had planned to take a cab to her Rainier Valley home. Her body was found by a passer-by 75 minutes later on a dead-end street. [Read more]

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