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Judge rules fingernail evidence in 1989 southwestern Illinois killing admissible


BELLEVILLE, Illinois — A southwestern Illinois judge has approved certain genetic evidence for use in the trial of a man accused in a decades-old killing of a teenager.

The Belleville News-Democrat ( reports St. Clair County Circuit Judge Zina Cruse has ruled that possible DNA evidence found under 1989 murder victim Nicole Willis' fingernails is admissible.

An attorney for defendant 52-year-old Carlos Garrett has argued such evidence should be excluded because of admittedly questionable evidence handling in the case by Centreville police.

Prosecutors allege the evidence links Garrett to the death of 16-year-old Willis. Her naked, beaten and strangled body was found in a field near her home.

Garrett's trial now is scheduled to begin May 19. He has pleaded not guilty.

Information from: Belleville News-Democrat,

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