California Man Cleared After Contaminated Paramedic Equipment Found To Be Cause Of DNA Found On Murder Victim’s Body

Raveesh KumraThere is an interesting story out of San Jose where a man was falsely accused of being an accomplice to murder despite being in a hospital at the time of the crime. Defense attorneys often argue contamination in DNA cases and the attorneys for Lukis Anderson, 26, insisted that either contamination or sheer negligence had to be the reason for the finding of his DNA on the body of robbery victim and Monte Sereno businessman, Raveesh “Ravi” Kumra (LEFT). It turns out that that is precisely what happened. The same ET crew that had worked on Anderson earlier responded to the home invasion of Kumra and used the same equipment — transferring the DNA to the body.

Kumra, 66, is a wealthy former owner of a Saratoga winery and was home with his wife when men broke into the home and bound and gagged him. He would die of asphyxiation during the robbery of cash and valuables. His wife, Harinder Kumra, was also beaten and bound but survived. Javier Garcia, 21, of Oakland, and Deangelo Austin, 21, are charged with the savage attack.

However, it was Anderson’s role that was perplexing. Anderson said that he was hospitalized before the crime after drinking excessively. Hospital records show him being transported by paramedics that night to a hospital where he spent the night. However, he was charged with murder based on the DNA evidence.

His attorney recently found that the same paramedics went to the Kumra home a few hours later and also tried to resuscitate Kumra. The equipment was contaminated with Anderson’s DNA and transferred to the body.

A prostitute who alleged also visited Kumra when his wife was gone was also cleared of involvement in the murder. Police thought that she had taken pictures of the house to help the intruders but concluded that she was merely taking the pictures to show friends the “cool house” of a john.

15 thoughts on “California Man Cleared After Contaminated Paramedic Equipment Found To Be Cause Of DNA Found On Murder Victim’s Body”

  1. There may be more DNA problems in the works:

    Science’s changing view is also raising questions about how forensic scientists should use DNA evidence to identify people. It’s also posing challenges for genetic counselors, who can’t assume that the genetic information from one cell can tell them about the DNA throughout a person’s body.

    (NY Times).

  2. I am so glad truth prevails and the innocent saved from some sentence he did not deserve! Have shared this via Facebook and Twitter. 🙂

  3. Paramedic responded to both calls…. Could/Would result in cross contamination…..

  4. Blouise,

    I thnk ou for that wonderful information….. Now hat she’s done her job…. Do you think she’ll be canned…. Cops, nor prosecutors like to look bad by a public defender….

  5. This shows how the DNA trumps all, thinking it is infallable. Well its a case of garbage in, garbage out.

    Also, I wonder what other kind of pathogens are resident on the equipment used by these Paramedics. Seems some general precautions need to be better maintained.

  6. The myth of the infallibility of DNA evidence is beginning to unravel and hopefully jurors will become aware that DNA evidence, like any other kind of evidence, is susceptible to error and miss handling

  7. Just the latest of many cases where a solid alibi was ignored and someone arrested despite that.

  8. Now that’s a defense attorney! I had to do some digging to find her(?) name (note that the poor guy spent 4 months in jail while his defense atty was doing the job police should have done):

    “Lukis Anderson, a 26-year-old San Jose transient, had been locked up for at least four months based wholly on criminalist Tahnee Mehmet Nelson’s conclusion that his DNA was found under the fingernails of slain Monte Sereno millionaire Ravi Kumra.

    But Anderson was released late last week after defense attorney Kelley Kulick proved he had an airtight alibi. Anderson was being treated at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center after passing out drunk in downtown San Jose on Nov. 30.”

    I believe she’s a Deputy Public Defender for Santa Clara County

  9. Crazy….. And yet people are executed before exonerated….

  10. Add this to the story out of Alabama that after recent SCOTUS rulings Police in Alabama set up roadblocks to swab peoples mouths to get DNA. Looks like the pipeline of people into for profit prisons is flowing well and looking to flow faster.

  11. Nightmare of nightmares. Nothing is fool proof, in a kingdom of fools. I am glad this was found out before this man was “convicted” or forced to take a plea. Kudos to his lawyers.

    As to the paramedics, there are some real problems.

  12. just as with the recent Supreme Court decision on DOMA, Sometimes there really is justice in our justice system. kiss the rulings against Prop 8 goodbye and good riddance.

  13. There is an interesting story out of San Jose where a man was falsely accused of being an accomplice to murder despite being in a hospital at the time of the crime.”

    Not charging him, but instead clearing him would have entered the mind of a just DA … just getting convictions is not what a good DA it is all about.

    The alibi was solid.

Comments are closed.