The Case Of The State Of Florida Vs. Chad Heins Case Study

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The case of the State of Florida vs. Chad Heins happened in 1994 in Mayport, Florida. It was on April 17, 1994 that Tina Heins, who was pregnant at the time, was found stabbed to death in her apartment. She shared an apartment with her husband Jeremy Heins and Jeremy’s brother Chad Heins. At the time of the incident Jeremy Heins was on a ship because he worked in the navy but Chad Heins was at the apartment. Before the incident happened Chad Heins, the defendant, who was nineteen at the time, used his brothers license to buy alcohol at a strip club near the apartment. After that Chad Heins had went to another bar where his brothers license got confiscated. He left the bar around 12:45 a.m. and went back to the apartment. He then washed his…show more content…
According to the Innocence Project (2006), “On September 17, 2001, Chad wrote the Innocence Project in New York, which, in 2003, enlisted pro bono counsel from Holland & Knight to file a motion for DNA testing on Tina’s fingernail scrapings.” The state had tested the DNA that was under Tina’s nail from the first case but at that time it was inadequate and could not be tested. It was not until now that we have the technology capable enough to test it. In June 2004, the test came back negative to matching both Jeremey and Chain Heins but did come from an unknown male. The state argued that it was not enough to overturn the conviction so Chad’s attorney asked the state to do some further testing and to compare the DNA from under the fingernails to the hairs that was found on Tina’s body. It was in 2005 that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed that there was a match between the DNA under Tina’s nail and the pubic hair. According to LaForgia (2006), “this particular type of DNA, the report stated, was found in only about 8 percent of Caucasian American men.” During this process there was a new piece of evidence that Chad’s attorney had learned about during the appeals process, a fingerprint. There were some accusations that the prosecutors never disclosed this information about this third fingerprint and if they did it was too late. The jurors did not even know about this fingerprint and if they did this could have changed the whole case. This fingerprint was found on several objects that included the smoke detector, a piece of glass, and the bathroom sink. It was soon discovered that this fingerprint matched with the DNA found on the bedsheets that Tina was on. This was finally enough evidence to help Chad Heins become exonerated in
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