Judge OKs evidence in case of accused killer

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline rejected a motion by accused killer Joshua Wade's lawyers to suppress evidence against him in the death of nurse practitioner Mindy Schloss. Beistline ruled Thursday to allow evidence gathered by scent-tracking bloodhounds. Prosecutors say the dogs linked Wade to ATMs where Schloss' card was used after her disappearance, her car abandoned near the airport and to several locations in Kincaid Park.

The defense, in days of hearings on the issue in December, had challenged the use of the bloodhounds, saying the dogs could have been following a scent other than Wade's. Beistline disagreed and said the dog trail evidence was "based on scientifically valid principles" that it was Wade's scent.

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.

Beistline, though, in his court order, wrote, "there was so much corroborating evidence in support of the warrant that there would have been probable cause to issue the warrant and search (Wade's) home even without the dog trail."

Wade is awaiting trial in federal court on murder charges related to the 2007 killing of Schloss, his next-door neighbor. Her body was found in September 2007 in a wooded area outside Wasilla. She'd been shot to death and partially burned.

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