COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open! Our team is working and offering consultations via phone, e-mail, and video conferencing.
Start With Your Free Consultation 612.444.5020

Attorney Joe Tamburino Quoted on DNA Evidence Use

Minneapolis investigators recently got a new lead in a cold case that had haunted authorities for over two decades – the stabbing murder of Jeanne Ann Childs in 1993. Authorities were finally able to link the killing to 52-year-old Jerry Westrom, by matching DNA evidence collected at the original crime scene to a profile on a genealogy website.

As a local authority on criminal defense procedure and DNA evidence use, the reporters at Minneapolis Fox 9 reached out to our criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino for his thoughts on the matter, and the legality of using private genetic databases like these to charge suspects.

Can Investigators Match DNA with Private Databases?

While the connection between the crime scene and Mr. Westrom’s database profile was enough to invite police interest in the case, it still wasn’t enough for him to be charged. After collecting a DNA sample from a tissue Mr. Westrom left at a hockey game, investigators had enough evidence to officially consider him a suspect in the case. As of last week, he has been formally charged with the murder of Jeanne Ann Childs. However, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This investigative strategy was inspired by the method used to catch the infamous Golden State killer in California. Unlike the Golden State killer, however, Jerry Westrom had apparently never used this particular genealogy website himself. As Attorney Tamburino stated in the recent article, “Even though Mr. Westrom, from what we know, did not use any type of, someone close to him did.”

“The population freely gives their DNA to these private companies and law enforcement can use it,” said Attorney Tamburino. “Anybody can use it.”

Committed to Fighting for Your Rights

At Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A., our Minneapolis criminal defense lawyers have more than 100 years of collective experience standing up for the accused. If the police suspect you of a serious crime, they can use vast resources to investigate, including DNA information sent to private companies for testing and analysis.

When you’ve been accused because of faulty or improperly collected DNA evidence, you have the right to contest how that evidence was discovered and processed. Our defense attorneys are committed to protecting those rights, and we have the aggressive and strategic approach you need to fight for your future.

Do you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney? Call us today at (612) 444-5020 to get started with a free consultation.


What Our Clients Are Saying

  • “ Today I had a court appearance where your attorney, LIS CARLSON represented me. I must start at the beginning, MS. CARLSON returned my phone call to her with in an hour of my first call to your office. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the quick response to my call & most important how LIS immediately made me feel, she was professional, caring, her ability to immediately know that I was a total mess. Before she finished with my call she made sure that I was alright, her compassion for me was extremely needed. I immediately felt there couldn’t be a better attorney in the state better than LIS! Throughout this entire process, Lis was a pillar of strength. I was amazed at how she handled everything with extreme care & some very excellent, professional legal skills. I count my blessings but I count them twice when I came to LIS. The world needs more people like LIS, smart, intelligent, kind and caring.” - P.G.
  • “How do I ever thank you enough for your amazingly great strategy that got my case dismissed! ” - J. E.
  • “ Kayla Wengronowitz was my attorney in a claim against me involving Title IX and won my difficult and extensive case. She was a beacon of hope to me when my options seemed very limited. Kayla provided clarity for me to understand everything happening in the case, she made smart and calculated decisions, she made sure I was comfortable with every decision she made, and she responded to difficult situations seemingly with ease. Most importantly, Kayla was empathetic and provided comfort throughout the strenuous process. I am extremely grateful for her service and highly recommend her without reservation.” - Anonymous
  • “I strongly recommended to anybody who needs a criminal lawyer representation ” - M.M.
  • “ I just wanted to thank you so much! I am so pleased with all the hard work you put in. I would have never had the chance to get the outcome I did without you. You did an amazing job and we are feeling very greatful to have made the right call when we chose you.” - P.K.
View More Testimonials

Don't Wait To Request Your Free Consultation

We take calls at any time of the day or night, so please don’t wait to find out how we can assist you. During your first meeting, we'll evaluate your case and determine if we are the right fit for you.

  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.