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August 26, 2009

DNA focus of King trial testimony

Posted: 09:37 PM ET

SARASOTA, Florida–Forensics testimony also played a major role in the trial of Michael King Wednesday. As prosecutors took the jury through a chronologic analysis of evidence, crime scene tech Pamela Schmidt identified duct tape taken at autopsy from the back head of victim Denise Lee.

Michael King

Schmidt testified that the duct tape stretched along the back of Lee's head from ear to ear. A bra strap was also found in a separate location from the remainder of a bra, underwear and a top all belonging to the young mother of two.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement analyst Jennifer Setlak testified that vaginal swabs of Lee showed sperm cells consistent with the DNA of defendant Michael King.

DNA from the torn ends of duct tape located in the home of the defendant matched King's DNA. Swabbings from the hood of the defendant's car, one of an unknown fluid and one consistent with blood both showed DNA matching that of Denise Lee.

This evidence will be critical for the prosecution to show the proximity of the defendant's car to the execution of Lee with one shot to her head.

An FDLE trace evidence analyst testified she studied all pieces of duct tape found in the defendant's home and around Lee's head to see if there were fracture or tear matches. There were not, so the prosecution by this testimony cannot prove the duct tape on Lee matched tape in the defendant's home.

Nonetheless, there were class characteristics that matched, such as the color of the tape, width, along with length and spacing of yarns.
Christina Sanders also purchased an identical bra as that worn by Lee. Testing showed Lee's bra strap was pulled out of its stitching not cut. Prosecutors will use all of these fine points to show the struggle that took place between the victim and her assailant.

The defense, on cross-examination, poked holes in the methodology of DNA testing, the duct tape testing that couldn't provide absolute matches and the fact that oral and anal swabs of Lee did not include the semen of the defendant.

Stay tuned to In Session for all the latest on this case.

–Jean Casarez, In Session correspondent

Filed under: Uncategorized


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tom taibbi   August 27th, 2009 9:50 am ET

this guy is down right guilty "also a coward "just like rick goff said .
fell terrrible for the family give rick 10minutes in a room alone


Sheila Crysel   August 27th, 2009 11:16 am ET

I am appalled at the continuation of calling this the Michael King Trial. In my opinion it is the Denise Lee Murder Trial. She was a wife, a daughter and a mother to two babies, who will never know her. The scum, who took her life needs to be forgotten as soon as possible.
Sheila, South Carolina


Joy Luce   August 27th, 2009 1:20 pm ET

Amber's family has suffered so much. My town has grieved with the Lee family thru this tragedy. I am praying the jurors will find the death penalty for King. He shows no remorse. And the evidence is soo clear that he DID do this crime. Everyday I drive by the road King drove down to shoot and bury Amber. I see all the flowers and teddy bears at the end of the str. that is blocked off. It is a constant reminder of our lacking 911 system and police force that can not do their job, when someone is in need.
-North Port,Fl


Warren   August 27th, 2009 2:01 pm ET

The gentleman that was crossed by the defense, the guy King went to the range with is a liar and he knows more than he is telling. The defense did not got to far with him. He seemed to remeber very quikly the things he says he didnt do, but has a hard time remembring what he did do. All his facial reactions are that of a guilty man. Im not sure if he killed this poor woman, but i wouldnt put it passed him ??


Judy   August 27th, 2009 4:59 pm ET

After watching the medical examiner the defense is beating a dead horse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jan from Minnesot   August 27th, 2009 5:54 pm ET

if this guy gets out of this trial innocent it will be a miracle, the 911 tape is so heart wrenching to listen to and he didn't even bat and eye, i was waiting for some type of emotion from him, i think he was trying hard to listen to hear if he could here is own voice on the tape, he is guilty and should be put to death, there is soooo much evidence against him what a terrible person, i just feel bad for the people who tried to help by calling in and reporting what they saw and heard and nothing to prevail of it. My sympathy goes out to the lee family for all they have to go through to watch this man get his day in hell


Penny Laur   August 28th, 2009 9:30 am ET

4 questions, where is the gun you took to the firing range? Why did you do the kidnap n abouse of this girl? What did you plan to do with her afterwards if not kill her? How did you choose her to take .


Penny Laur   August 28th, 2009 9:37 am ET

Anyone who could do the things he did to this beautiful young woman,desearves the death penalty whether they ever find his gun or not,and where is his gun he took to the firing range anyway?


Troy   August 28th, 2009 10:00 am ET

One thing that confuses me is Salvador said he" thinks" King's gun was a 9mm and not a well known brand or something in those lines. I thought Salvador at one point said he supplied the ammunition King was using. If he did then why wouldnt he be 100% sure the gun was a 9mm.
Did I miss understand his statment or not..


ingrid   August 28th, 2009 11:10 am ET

I pray for the Goff & Lee families. I have been upset since I saw the story on Dateline, it is heartbreaking. That man disgusts me. I don't recommend listening to the 9-1-1 tape, I did and I can't stop thinking about the horror Denise went through. These families must be very strong to sitthrough this try, I also understand why they are. I hope the SOB is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He took the life of a young sweet girl, mother of two babies, a daughter, wife & friend, he stole her form her family & that is unforgivable, he'll have to answer to a higher authority in the end.


chris   August 31st, 2009 3:14 pm ET

I was trying to find out where Michael King was from. I knew a Michael King from the Los Angeles area and there is a resemblance. Does anyone out there know the answer?


Pam   September 1st, 2009 1:45 pm ET

I pray for the family of Denise. This beautiful girl was murdered right at the end of our road. This has made an impact on so many people. I truly hope that Michael King (this monster) is taken off the earth. In my opinion, he has lost his right to breath anylonger.


Anna M.   September 1st, 2009 4:04 pm ET

Michael King has robbed those two little boys of being able to know their loving mother in the worst possible way (murder)! May he get exactly his just, whatever that may be by his actions he should expect to pay the highest price even if that means with his own life!!


Bill Bartmann   September 1st, 2009 4:18 pm ET

Great site...keep up the good work.


Syed Ahmed   September 2nd, 2009 12:37 am ET

This incident made me indifferent to almost everything. I am constantly thinking why this guy inflicted so much pain and misery on an innocent beautiful soul. Definitely he planned carefully to do such an attrocity. But why this person is so cruel ? He snatched a mother from her two little kids just infront of them. He didn.t feel anything. On the other hand this coward loves himself so much that he is doing everything to escape death. I am eagerly waiting to know that he has been executed. But an execution is nothing in comparision to what he did. If it was possible and he could be executed thousands of time that would not even console me. I am deeply saddened, extremely saddened. I feel the pain of her parents, I feel the pain of a husband who lost his love , and I feei the pain of kids who became motherless forever.


Charles   September 3rd, 2009 2:30 pm ET

I think this guy understood what he was doing and deserves no mercy.


bonnie brigman   September 3rd, 2009 4:13 pm ET

The death penalty has always been a scary thing to me, to actually say
"Let it be" But this case has been the turning point for my thoughts on this and NOW I "Within a shadow of a doubt" say YES..It needs to be!
He certainly would be given a death DECENT. Denise Lee, did not have this...She suffered , mental agony, crying out for help, begging to be released, crying for her babies, her family, and herself. What person could listen to her and then simply turn around and shoot her in the head. He had no problem, He is a cold, cold, cold blooded murderer. This death penalty will give Him over to someone much higher in power to put Him where this "Higher Power" makes the judgement call. My heart does go out to Michael's King family also....but I haven't seen that they have supported or been there for Him in court, ecept through the penalty case.

The family of Denise Lee is of the HIGHEST admiration , and my heart could not fathom what they MUST be going through....no this would not be a closure for them..this will carry on...but a least they would Know that this guy would not have a life either and could not by chance get out and do this again...It would be "The End".


Wendy   September 3rd, 2009 5:04 pm ET

Russel is WRONG; yeah anyone whom can commit murder and rape and kidnapping is not right in the head– I am saddened that people rush to judgement and want to actually administer the lethal dose; he deserves a fair trial- I have watched this trial and Michael King has been looking out of it as his poor family is testifying - it was not the sledding accident but witnessing what he has done to the victim's family- lovely Denise Lee and his own family.
I have been a victim and can relate to Denise's last hours but still feel we all have a right to a fair trial and that is what our legal system is based upon.


Jack Dering   September 4th, 2009 12:47 pm ET

I wish In Session would get Dr. Ablow–or any other competent psychiatrist–to explain what would make a man with no previous criminal history commit such a hideous crime. I know it wasn't a head injury. There was never any doubt in my mind that he was guilty.


cheri   September 4th, 2009 1:57 pm ET

They are worried about the impact on MK's eleven year old son if he gets the death penalty. What about the impact that he leaves Denise's
little boys with when they realize what he did to their mother Jail for life in my opinion would be too easy for him.


Kathy Oberg   September 4th, 2009 2:14 pm ET

How can you say the death penalty is NOT a deterrent? How could you possibly know how many men/women DID NOT commit a heinous crime because they thought about the dire consequences (death) and decided against doing it???


Roberta Gordon, Georgia   September 4th, 2009 2:35 pm ET

This man, Michael King, owned a car, a house, a driver's license, I presume and I know of no truly mentally disabled person who possesses all of those things. Everyone has some "psychological damage" during his of her lifetime, but it doesn't excuse kidnapping, rape and murder. It has been proven that there is no therapy that works at this time to help people like this overcome these urges.
Since when can we not have a civilized nation where a young mother cannot sit on her back porch trimming her child's hair? I have lived in European countries, and believe me, they do not have the atroceous number of crimes like this occur. No, I doubt that the Death Penalty deters anyone like Michael King, but I think we, as a society, can say we've had enough of him and others who commit these crimes.


Rob_in_Ottawa   September 5th, 2009 12:21 pm ET

This is one sinister man. I am relieved that he was sentenced to death and I hope he elects to be killed in the chair. Everyone in Florida could turn their power off to give him an extra jolt.

It's cases like this that make me wish there was another sentencing option for the jury to decide. The third way. Execution. Tomorrow. Just one more night left of your miserable life – spent with Bubba.


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