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Testing will be allowed on a hair entered as evidence in a murder case against a former Radcliff resident.
Judge Jack Seay in LaRue Circuit Court approved a motion during a hearing Monday afternoon to test the evidence using more advanced technology in the case against Abdullah R. White, 36, and Samantha J. Kolley, 20, of Eastview.
Both are accused of being involved in the Dec. 30, 2011 death of 28-year-old Kristie L. Allen, who was found dead by her mother in a Buffalo home where Allen was house sitting for friends.
According to Kentucky State Police, White asphyxiated Allen while Kolley assisted him in concealing the body. Allen’s mother reported to investigators she saw the two fleeing from the Buffalo home where her daughter was found dead, according to arrest warrants.
Only White is charged in Allen’s death. Between the two, White and Kolley face more than 20 felony counts, including charges of burglary, auto theft and receiving stolen property.
A hair found on a comforter in which Allen’s body was discovered did not have a follicle attached and couldn’t be used in the traditional method of DNA testing using equipment available to KSP.
Prosecutors requested the hair be submitted to a Federal Bureau of Investigation lab for mitochondrial DNA testing to get indications of to whom it might have belonged.
The test would destroy the evidence, preventing further testing.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Whitney Meredith said the FBI could do the test using state money, but no one would be allowed in the lab to view the test.
Kolley’s attorney, public defender Kristen Purdue asked previously and again Monday that attorneys be allowed to view the test. She also said Monday the hair neither included or excluded her client, and she objected to the testing.
White’s private attorney, Josian Passalacqua, said he thought testing, which suggests the hair belongs to neither defendant, is sufficient.
Seay said he will allow the testing, based on how little is known about the hair.
The judge has refused prosecutors’ request to consolidate the two cases.
Also during the hearing, Passalacqua announced he is withdrawing as White’s attorney so White can be granted a public defender.
Passalacqua said recent case law says a defendant can’t use public money to hire expert witnesses for a case if he is employing his own attorney.
“That would really put Mr. White in a serious, very precarious position,” he said.
Seay said he doesn’t know what the change of attorney will mean for the Oct. 22 trial date.
He set an attorney status review on the regular 9 a.m. docket for May 6.
Kolley and White remain in custody.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or email@example.com.