Judge clears bloodhound evidence

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A federal judge has cleared the way for evidence to be introduced in the trial of Joshua Wade, accused of murdering a woman who lived next door to him in Anchorage.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline ruled Thursday that evidence gathered by scent-tracking bloodhounds can be used at trial.

Wade is charged with killing Mindy Schloss, a nurse practitioner whose body was found in a wooded area outside Wasilla in 2007. She'd been shot to death and her body was partially burned.

Wade has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Wade's lawyers tried to prevent the bloodhound evidence from being introduced at trial. But prosecutors said the dogs linked Wade to ATMs where Schloss' bank card was used after she disappeared, and to the woman's abandoned car and other locations.

Beistline found that the bloodhound evidence was based on scientifically valid principles.

The ruling was important because what the dogs found was used to support a search warrant of Wade's home. Police found key evidence in the home, including Schloss' watch, according to prosecutors.

If Beistline had ruled that the dog evidence was no good, prosecutors faced losing all the evidence they found in Wade's home. However, Beistline said that even without the dog trail evidence there was enough corroborating evidence to issue the search warrant.

Previously Wade was acquitted of raping and beating a woman to death. Della Brown's body was found in September 2000 in a shed in Anchorage. She died from multiple blows to the head from a hard object.

No comments: