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Crime lab backlog slows murder prosecution

CHESTER (AP) — It’s now been a year since a Lancaster man was shot and killed on a road in what authorities say was a revenge shooting. But the case has slowed because a backlog at the state crime lab has delayed the completion of DNA tests.

Prosecutors say Antwan Terrill White, 21, shot Michael Jermaine Terry, 39, of Lancaster, in what they say was retaliation for the rape of a Chester County teenager in her home, The Herald of Rock Hill (http://bit.ly/1aT4ZXV) reported.

Authorities are waiting for tests to determine if DNA found on the alleged murder weapon matches fluids on the dead man’s body. Those results are expected this week. The clothes of the rape victim were also submitted for DNA testing, but those results still have not come back.

Terry was shot and killed a year ago Monday. According to police documents, he went to the teenager’s home, took her into the woods and assaulted her. Deputies responded to the scene but minutes later learned Terry had been shot.

Deputies found him less than a mile up the road with gunshot wounds to his head and chest. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police questioned White that night and released him. He was charged with murder following a second interview a week later.

During a bond hearing last August, Assistant Sixth Circuit Solicitor Chris Taylor said authorities believe White pursued Terry and shot him in return for the sexual assault.

White is free on bond while awaiting trial.

“He’s not guilty, that’s our position,” said his attorney, Arthur Gaston. “He’s still working. We’ll have to see what evidence comes out. Everything is allegations.”

When state officials first received the two DNA requests from the Chester County Sheriff’s Office, they did not realize they were from the same case because the samples were submitted separately, State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said.

Berry said the agency has a backlog of about 600 gunshot residue samples awaiting testing.

“Those tests take time,” he said. “We can only do two a day.”

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