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August 5, 2011     West Seattle Herald
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August 5, 2011
 

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12 Friday, August 5, 2011 West Seattle Herald Final hearing for Amanda Knox not so final Prosecution to seek DNA "experts" for Sept. 5 hearing By Steve Shay July 30 was expected to be the final hearing in Amanda Knox's appeal case prior to a four-week summer recess, closing arguments on Aug. 27, then the verdict. How- ever, in court July 30 the judge agreed to allow the prosecution to hear more witnesses beginning Sept. 5. That means the prosecu- tion will supply additional DNA experts to challenge the findings of the the official independent DNA experts the judge selected. Those findings now contained in a 146-page report served to under- mine the original DNA findings by the prosecution that led to Knox's 26-year prison term. They pointed to contamination of evidence and said the collection methods did not follow protocol. Gloves were not changed out during the handling of multiple objects in the murder scene and one key item, the bra clasp worn by murder victim Mer- edith Kercher, had been mishan- dled by more than one forensics scientist, dropped, then picked up again and placed in a plastic bag, not a paper bag as required. This was all shown on a video to the court in the prior hearing which solicited laughter in the courtroom. During the July 30 hearing pros- ecutors attacked the legitimacy of the two judge-appointed foren- sics experts and their findings. The director of Italy's scientific police, Piero Angeloni, read a let- ter in court defending the experts and said that each year they pro- cess 4,500 crime scenes and have never been condemned so harshly for their work. "Never has anyone questioned our methods this way," he told the court. The West Seattle Herald inter- viewed Amanda Knox's stepfather, Arbor Heights resident Chris Mel- las shortly after he left the court- room, by phone in Perugia, Italy. These are his observations of the day in court and the case as he sees them. "Court began (Saturday, July 30) this morning at 9:30 a.m. and last- ed until almost 7:00 p.m. Most of it was (Prosecutor) Manuela Comodi badgering the court-appointed forensics experts. The people from the media I spoke to after court seemed to think the prosecutors were not endearing themselves to the court. The experts were cho- sen by the judge. Comodi asked for the forensics experts' resumes and tried to downplay their find- ings. These experts are respected and train police on how to collect evidence. "At the end of the day I think the judge had enough. So overall it was a good day, but in the begin- ning the civil prosecution request- ed their DNA experts be allowed to speak. They'll take any chance they have go up there. They see it as another chance to put doubt in the minds of the jury. "Amanda was unhappy with the fact that this thing is going to drag out longer but at least more good stuff is coming out." Steve Shay can be reached at steves @robinsonnews.com. On July 30, the judge in the appeals hearing of Amanda Knox agreed to allow the prosecution to hear more witnesses beginnmg Sept. 5. That means the prosecution will supply additional DNA experts to challenge the findings of the the official independent DNA experts the judge selected. Metro considering closure of Second and Columbia stop Press release: King County Metro Transit and the Seattle Depart- ment of Transportation (SDOT) are evaluating options tO improve traffic flow and transit operations on Columbia Street at 2nd Avenue near the Alaskan Viaduct on-ramp. One suggestion is to close the bus stop located on Columbia St. just east of 2nd Ave. It currently serves as the last stop for pas- sengers leaving downtown on Metro routes 21 Express, 54, 55, 56 Express, 113, 120, 121,122and 125. ff this bus stop closes, people who ride these buses will instead board or exit southbound on 3rd Ave, at the stop between Seneca and Spring streets, about three blocks north of Columbia St. The closure of this stop is one of several concepts being con- sidered and Metro and SDOT are Seeking initial feedback on the potential impacts to riders and the general public. To provide com- ments about the possible closure of this stop send email to cus- tomer.comments@kingcounty.gov with Columbia/2nd Ave. in the subject line, or call 206-553-3000 by Friday, August 12. Even if this bus stop remains open, it may be necessary to occa- sionally close it temporarily without prior notice due to traffic conditions. If that happens, Metro staff and signage will direct bus riders to the stop on Third Avenue south of Seneca Street. South Seattle College student body president is one to watch By Steve Shay Dante Obcena attended the Greater Seattle Business Asso- ciation (GSBA) and West Seattle Chamber Of Commerce (WSCC) candidate reception at the Hall at Fauntleroy, as well as the July 28 West Seattle Candidate's Forum and was, at times, hard to spot. That's because the 23 year-old South Seattle Community College student body president was often surrounded by local politicians, including King County and Seattle City Council members and candi- dates engaging him in serious con- versation. You might say Obcena is someone to keep an eye on in the future political scene. But then again, look at him now. Obcena immigrated here from the Philippines 10 years ago. He won an award from the GSBA, an organization serving the gay, lesbian and bisexual community. He was given the SSCC Founda- tion Scholarship, an award based on academic merit, financial need, program of study and school and community involvement. Also, Obcena was one of the college's two representatives to the All-Washington Academic Team honored at a ceremony in Olym- pia. He was one of 63 students rep- resenting 33 Washington commu- nity and technical colleges given Academic Team medals by Gov. Gregoire. Steve Shay can be reached at steves @ robinsonnews.com. 4. Chicken Sausage Pasta Heartland sun-dried tomato and pine nut chicken sausage, over linguini with marinara sauce, served with crostinis. ;12 / $8 4. Artichoke Pasta Artichokes, spinach, zucchini, roasted red peppers, sewed over linguini with a light cream sauce, sewed with crostinis. $12 / 8 . Rainbow Pasta Cheese Tortellini with an array of fresh vegetables, tossed in a caper lemon garlic sauce. 12/ $8 4. 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