WILMINGTON, Del. - Prosecutors showed that Wharton undergraduate Irina Malinovskaya had spyware on her computer and presented DNA analyses of human and animal hair, but it's unclear how strongly that evidence links Malinovskaya to the December 2004 murder of Irina Zlotnikov.
In court yesterday, the prosecution asserted that Malinovskaya - who is facing her second retrial for allegedly bludgeoning Zlotnikov to death - was obsessed with Robert Bondar, Malinovskaya's ex-lover and Zlotnikov's boyfriend at the time of her death.
But despite the spyware on Malinovskaya's computer and an e-mail to a friend inquiring about using the program to spy on someone else, Malinovskaya never attempted to install spyware on Bondar's computer, computer-forensics examiner Steve Bunting testified.
Still, prosecutors pointed to other evidence from Malinovskaya's computer as proof of her obsession: a schedule of courses she thought Bondar could have been taking, records that she accessed Bondar's Yahoo! e-mail account and e-mail messages from Malinovskaya to Bondar.
The prosecution highlighted one September 2004 e-mail to Bondar in which Malinovskaya wrote, "Robert, You have formed a mistaken opinion of me. . I was not intentionally spying on you."
Also yesterday, animal-DNA expert Joy Halverson described DNA tests performed on hairs found in the vehicle Malinovskaya rented and drove to Bondar's New Castle, Del. apartment - the scene of the murder - on the night before and day of the crime.
One hair's nuclear DNA profile was consistent with the hair of Bondar's dog, likely revealing an exact match, and eight hairs were also similar to the dog's mitochondrial DNA, although those matches are less precise, Halverson said.
Another hair found in the vehicle is consistent with hair from Bondar's cat, according to mitochondrial DNA testing, Halverson testified.
Additionally, a white human hair was found in Zlotnikov's hand, but Samuel Palenik, a forensic chemical microscopist, said the "hair did not necessarily come from the head or body of the assailant."
Palenik also testified that, according to a report he issued this month, he found seven hairs that matched a fur coat of Zlotnikov's on the victim's body but did not find any similar hairs in Malinovskaya's rental car.
In other DNA analysis, forensic biologist Katherine Cross testified that scrapings under Zlotnikov's fingernails likely belonged to the victim.
Of other evidence she examined - swabbings from Zlotnikov's hip and foot, a beer bottle, a red stain on the bathroom sink, a faucet handle and cigarette butts - no DNA samples provided conclusive links to Malinovskaya, Cross said.
Today, the jury will make a trip to view the site of the crime at Bondar's apartment, and prosecutors will call at least two more witnesses.Comments powered by Disqus
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