DNA expert testifies in Jerome Barrett murder trial - WKRN News 2

DNA expert testifies in Jerome Barrett murder trial

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Jerome Barrett Jerome Barrett
Sarah Des Prez Sarah Des Prez

Testimony has concluded in the murder trial of Jerome Barrett.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Friday morning.

Following closing arguments, the jury will be given instructions and then begin deliberations.

Barrett, 61, is charged in the 1975 rape and murder of a Vanderbilt University student.

Sarah Des Prez was 19-years-old when her father and brother found her dead in her apartment not far from the university's campus on February 2, 1975.

For the first time Thursday, the jury heard Barrett speak.

In a taped phone conversation Barrett made from jail to his daughter in 2007, he denied any involvement in the case and said he did not know Des Prez.

"Detectives are trying to make a name for themselves in this cold case," he had said.  "As soon as I get a lawyer, it will fall apart."

A DNA expert took the stand and showed the jury items he tested from Des Prez's apartment.

Chad Johnson testified he found a positive DNA match on several items on the victim's bed, under her fingernails and on the blouse she was wearing when she died.

"I concluded semen was present on the item," he testified.  "I came up with a complete profile matching Jerome Barrett.  What's the chance someone else on the planet has the same DNA?  It exceeds the world population.  I would not expect anyone else to have that same profile."

A fellow inmate of Barrett also took the stand and stated the defendant admitted killing a student and told him he didn't know why he did it.

When the trial resumes Friday morning, watch it live at WKRN.COM.

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