Jury hears DNA evidence linking Jaques to Norwich murder

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The jury that has been hearing from law enforcement witnesses that accused murderer Jean Jacques' "blood" was found in victim Casey Chadwick's Norwich apartment received scientific evidence Tuesday that appeared to confirm their testimony.

Jacques, 41, is on trial in New London Superior Court for the June 15, 2015, stabbing death of 25-year-old Chadwick at her 16 Spaulding St. apartment.

On the sixth day of testimony, as family and friends of Chadwick continued to watch from the gallery, prosecutor David J. Smith called three analysts from the state Forensic Science Laboratory who extracted and tested DNA from blood swabs and items by the state police Eastern District Major Crime Squad and Norwich police.

The examiners compared the extracted DNA with samples taken from Jacques, Chadwick and her boyfriend, Jean Joseph, who lived with her.

Forensic Science Examiner Patricia Johannes testified that Jacques' DNA was found in swabs of blood taken from the living room floor and kitchen wall of Chadwick's apartment. The frequency of occurrence of the DNA extracted from the floor was less than 1 in seven billion, which is the entire world population. Some of Chadwick's genetic markers also were detected in the wall sample, according to Johannes.

Chadwick's DNA was extracted from a stain on the right back pocket of a pair of Jacques' jeans that were found in a duffel bag in the trunk of his friend's car, according to testimony.

Examiner Victoria Baker testified that Casey Chadwick was a contributor to DNA extracted from a stain on Jacques' right sneaker, and that the frequency of occurrence was one in seven billion.

Also, Jacques could not be eliminated as the source of so-called "Touch DNA," or skin cells, extracted from Chadwick's cellphone, which police said they recovered from a hole in the bathroom wall of an apartment Jacques had rented on Crossway Street. His DNA, as well as that of the victim's boyfriend, Jean Joseph's, was found on a sandwich bag containing drugs that also was recovered from the hole in the wall.

Joseph's DNA was also detected in a swab of blood taken from the kitchen closet. Joseph testified earlier in the trial that he was with another woman on the night Chadwick was killed. He said the next day he found Chadwick's body in the living room closet and noticed his drug stash was missing. Police said the evidence pointed to Jacques as the killer.

Under cross-examination, defense attorney Sebastian O. DeSantis pointed out that Jacques was eliminated as a contributor to swabs of blood taken from other sections of the apartment, including the kitchen floor and the kitchen door.

The state is expected to rest its case Wednesday, when the defense will have opportunity to present evidence. It is unclear whether Jacques will testify, though he has stood up several times to address Judge Barbara Bailey Jongbloed outside the presence of the jury. On Tuesday, at the conclusion of testimony, Jacques told the judge that the testimony of Tywan Jenkins, a jailhouse informant who said Jacques admitted to killing Chadwick, was false. Police said Jenkins, who was housed with Jacques at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville last summer, gave them information that led them to discovering the victim's cellphone and her boyfriend's drug stash hidden the bathroom wall of Jacques' apartment.

Jacques told the judge it would be stupid for him to take the cellphone and hide it in his house. He has implied several times that police planted evidence in the case.

"I feel my life is endangered in this situation," he said. "I don't trust nobody. I would never kill Casey."

k.florin@theday.com

 

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