Tr 979 1153 1271 the detectives drove him from

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(Tr. 979, 1153, 1271.) The detectives drove him from Brewster back to Peekskill beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. (Tr. at 758, 1263-64, 1271.) 39. Two months after Petitioner’s arrest, on March 2, 1990, Agent Deadman of the F.B.I. notified Lieutenant Tumolo that the RFLP-DNA testing requested on January 10, 1990, had been completed. The results showed that Petitioner was conclusively excluded as the source of the semen on the vaginal swabs taken from Ms. Correa at autopsy. (Tr. at 419, 422.) Rather than dismiss the case against Petitioner (as indicated it would if such “exonerating” results were obtained in its initial letter to the F.B.I.), the State opted to continue to prosecute Petitioner for the crime, using a new theory to explain the source of the unidentified semen inside the victim. Trial 40. Petitioner was charged with murder in the second degree under three separate legal grounds (intentional murder, depraved mind murder, and felony murder); rape in the first degree; and criminal possession of a weapon (a glass bottle) in the fourth degree. (Tr. at 12-16.) 41. At trial, the People contended that Petitioner had raped and murdered the victim after abducting her near the area where her body was found. To get to Griffens Pond, the victim walked through a wooded area to get to a macadam path that would lead her to 14
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“the pit,” taking photographs along the way. (Tr. at 29.) While on the path, the People argued, Petitioner tackled her from behind, landing on her stomach. (Tr. at 32.) The victim tried to fight off the perpetrator as he rolled her onto her back, scratching him with her nails as he ripped off her bra, struck her head and face, and vaginally raped her. (Tr. at 32-33.) The People contended that Petitioner placed his hands over her mouth, nose and throat, and the victim lost consciousness and was dragged, partially clothed, into a hallow. (Tr. at 33-34.) 42. The People’s case rested almost exclusively on the tearful confession that Petitioner made during his final police interrogation in Brewster on January 25, 1990, and on his prior statements to detectives regarding his “opinions” as to how the crime had occurred. Although there was a wealth of forensic evidence collected from the crime scene and Ms. Correa’s body at autopsy, all of which was subjected to extensive analysis, not a single item was attributed to Petitioner. For its part, the defense contended that the confession was given by a vulnerable young man under extreme police pressure, and that the forensic evidence (particularly from the semen) established that the confession was false and that Mr. Deskovic was innocent of the rape and murder. 43. The jury was told about the exclusionary results from the F.B.I.’s RFLP-DNA testing on the semen from Ms. Correa’s vaginal swabs. (Tr. at 417-19.) At trial, the People conceded that Petitioner was not the source of the semen, but argued that the confession nonetheless established his guilt. Although no further forensic testing was performed to identify the actual source of the semen, the People contended that it was likely from a prior consensual sexual partner of the victim’s.
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