Accused killer’s demand to toss DNA evidence nixed by judge

 

DOVER — An accused killer’s bid to suppress incriminating statements and DNA evidence in connection with an alleged home invasion incident two years ago was denied by a Superior Court judge on Monday.

Abdul T. White, of Philadelphia, claimed that police violated his Miranda rights while investigating the death of a Milford man on Aug. 8, 2015, and improperly collected DNA evidence that exceeded a search warrant.

Judge Jeffrey Clark, however, determined that a detective properly administered Miranda rights in a clear manner before interviewing the defendant, who the Court said “when asked if he understood his rights, stated that he did. …”

Also contributing to the understanding of Miranda was Mr. White’s previous experience with the criminal justice system, according to the decision.

He was 31 years old when interrogated in December 2015.

Police were justified in taking samples of Mr. White’s DNA through a search warrant executed in Pennsylvania based on the belief that it “would be located on various items of evidence collected at the scene of the crime.”

Abdul T. White

The state successfully argued that the Milford Police investigator of serious crimes for 13 years was “an adequate basis for the affiant’s experience supporting the belief that DNA would be left at the crime scene.”

Police said that John Harmon was fatally shot in the head during an alleged home invasion in the 500 block of Walnut Street in Milford.

Authorities alleged that three intruders wearing black clothes and masks and ordered nine people to lay on the living room floor and held them at gunpoint.

Investigation found that Mr. Harmon was allegedly duct-taped to his wheelchair in his room before being shot to death.

Mr. White was considered a fugitive when arrested by police in Philadelphia on Sept. 23, 2015.

Deputy Attorneys General Jason Cohee and Lindsay Taylor are prosecuting the case, while lawyers Edward Gill and Alex Funk are representing Mr. White.

Trial is scheduled for June 6.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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