DNA Transfer by EMS Personnel Leads to Wrongful Arrest

An innocent man sat in a Southern California jail for five months because EMS personnel who transported him to the hospital inadvertently deposited his DNA at a murder scene they later responded to.

The unbelievable story of the arrest and incarceration of 26-year-old Lukis Anderson for the murder of millionaire Raveesh Kumra, is troubling given our assumptions that DNA evidence is virtually iron-clad.

How a Rural Metro ambulance crew was able to transfer one patient’s DNA to another scene is just as troubling on a number of very practical levels: evidence-wise, infection control-wise, and occupational safety-wise.


About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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