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Judge tosses out some DNA evidence allegedly tied to death of University of Texas student

Meechaiel Criner was charged with the death of UT Austin student Haruka Weiser in 2016.

AUSTIN -- A judge has tossed out some DNA evidence that prosecutors planned to present at the trial for the man charged with with killing a University of Texas student on campus in 2016, KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman report.

Meechaiel Criner appeared in court Monday and Tuesday where a discussion regarding the DNA collection software used during the investigation unfolded.

Criner's lawyers claimed the DNA testing software that was used to tie Criner to the crime was unreliable, following other counties from across the country who have challenged the validity of the software known ast STRmix. Some said the software takes away a human element from quantifying data.

Statesman reporter Ryan Autullo reported that the judge said Monday that he'll need a lot of guidance from the lawyers before making a decision, and that "all (he) knows about DNA is how to spell it."

Autullo reported Wednesday that Judge David Wahlberg has tossed out some DNA evidence that prosecutors planned to present to a jury that they believe tied Criner to the fatal attack of Weiser

Criner is accused of sexually assaulting and killing freshman Haruka Weiser before her body was found April 5, 2016. Criner is pleading not guilty.


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Weiser was a well-known dance student from Portland, Oregon. Police believe that Weiser was attacked near Waller Creek as she was walking back from practice.

If convicted, Criner could face life in prison. The death penalty is off the table because Criner was 17 years old at the time of the alleged crime.

His trial is set for July 9.

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