Commonwealth v. MarreroAnnotate this Case
In a case before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the defendant, Elvio Marrero, was convicted of the murder of Pernell Kimplin based on evidence that included bloodstains on Marrero's leather jacket. The bloodstains were used by the prosecution to link Marrero to the crime and to support the testimony of a key witness. However, twenty years after the trial, DNA testing showed that the blood on the jacket did not belong to the victim. Marrero's motion for a new trial, based on these DNA test results, was initially denied by a lower court, but the Supreme Judicial Court disagreed with that decision. The court found that the bloodstains were the strongest piece of physical evidence linking Marrero to the murder, and were used by the prosecution to corroborate the testimony of a key witness with credibility issues. As such, the court held that the bloodstains on the jacket likely played a significant role in the jury's deliberations. The court concluded that, had the new DNA test results been available at the time of the trial and the prosecution had been unable to connect the bloodstains to the murder, there is a substantial risk that the outcome of the trial would have been different. Therefore, the court vacated Marrero's conviction and remanded the case for a new trial.