FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Prosecutors in a Fort Worth murder case believe evidence was buried with the victim, and now a judge has agreed to an order allowing for the victim’s body to be dug up.
Alfredo Olivares, 19, was shot and killed in front of a home in September and the evidence in question revolves around his wounds. Police arrested Peter Cardona, 23, for murder.
In a motion from prosecutors, they write that during an autopsy the medical examiner’s office “collected… one projectile during the examination.”
However, police, paramedic and hospital records specifically “showed two projectiles in the body.” Prosecutors wrote “there may be evidence, specifically a fired projectile, that remains in the body.”
The second wound was reported in the autopsy as a “surgical stab.”
Veteran defense attorneys and former prosecutors told CBS 11 News disinterring a body as part of a case isn’t unheard of. But one called it “incredibly unusual.”
“Where you find these mistakes become scandals is if the forensic scientist tries to cover up, is less than honest, is defensive about anybody questioning their work. If any of those things happen then it really does challenge the integrity of that forensic science evidence. And that person will face questions and be challenged on it for the rest of their career,” said Messina Madson of Madson Castello Law in Dallas.
The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office and medical examiner’s office gave no comment when asked about the move.
“There’s no doubt this is not a decision they’re going to make lightly. This is something they’re aware of how it’s going to affect the victim’s family. They’re aware of the expenses of it. I would tell you that they must really need this evidence to make their case and get a conviction,” Madson said.
The order says the medical examiner’s office will exhume the body from a cemetery in Fort Worth, but it doesn’t appear that has happened yet.
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