Norton trial opens with DNA evidence

DNA evidence that appears to exonerate a Daly City man on trial for killing his wife is nothing more than “background noise” when compared with a mountain of evidence against him, jurors were told at the start of Quincy Norton’s jury trial Monday.

“In the context of this case, it doesn’t mean anything,” Deputy District Attorney Al Giannini said during opening statements. Giannini told jurors that during the month-long trial, they would hear expert testimony that explained how DNA material could transfer from one person to the next.

Norton faces life in prison if convicted of the 2006 stabbing of his wife, Tamika Mack-Norton.

On March 24, prosecutors obtained a routine saliva swab of Norton’s mistress, Anitra Johnson. On the eve of jury selection, test results revealed that Johnson’s biological material was present on the handle of the murder weapon; Norton’s DNA was not found. Norton had spent the night with Johnson hours before his wife’s killing, prosecutors said.

Patricia Fox, Norton’s defense attorney, told jurors Monday that one person in 17 million has the same DNA profile as Johnson, and that profile was found on the knife. Furthermore, she said, no blood was found in an extensive search of Norton’s car.

Giannini told jurors they would hear from numerous friends and family members who witnessed Norton’s alleged verbal and physical abuse, alcoholism, intense possessiveness and chronic philandering. The prosecution contends that Norton stabbed her when she filed for divorce.

tbarak@examiner.com

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