A prominent DNA expert who testified in defense of Casey Anthony at her infamous trial and examined DNA evidence that cleared the parents of JonBenet Ramsey in her murder case has suffered a serious set-back to his career in Colorado. The news that the JonBenet Ramsey and Casey Anthony expert witness has been “debunked” and discredited in Colorado comes just as the 20-year-old cold case of JonBenet Ramsey is once again hitting the public radar.
— George Brauchler (@GeorgeBrauchler) September 6, 2016
As KDVR 31 reports, Richard Eikelenboom has been publicly discredited by his own words in Colorado. The DNA expert whose career has included providing testimony in the Casey Anthony and JonBenet Ramsey investigations, among many other high-profile cases, had been tapped to testify as an expert witness in a Colorado rape trial involving two defendants.
Reportedly, when the former JonBenet Ramsey DNA examiner was questioned by a Denver prosecutor, the so-called expert actually admitted on the stand that he “had no direct DNA extraction or analysis experience, that he operates a lab that has not been accredited, that he personally failed his basic proficiency tests in 2011 and 2012, and admitted that he was ‘self-trained’ in running DNA profiles.” The district court judge overseeing the questioning of the DNA expert said that he had “committed a number of errors and have had inadequate training.”
Because of his admission, the long-touted forensic scientist who has made a name for himself by getting high-profile defendants (think Casey Anthony and John and Patsy Ramsey) off the hook, helping so-called “wrongfully convicted” defendants have their convictions overturned and generally throwing wrenches in the forensic cases of prosecutors across the country, was barred from testifying at the Colorado trial. In a nutshell, a federal judge said that he didn’t qualify as an expert witness and called into question all of the qualifications of the former expert DNA witness in the Casey Anthony defense.
DNA expert Richard Eikelenboom was barred from providing testimony for an upcoming sexual assault case after a… https://t.co/inErrxdKdA
— News Talk KSGF (@NewsTalkKSGF) September 1, 2016
The Denver District Attorney’s Office pulled no punches when it spoke to the media about the JonBenet Ramsey case’s DNA expert – an expert that is still working in conjunction with the JonBenet Ramsey investigation to this day. According to the Denver DA, Richard Eikelenboom and his wife (who works with him as his partner) is “self-trained” and lacks the basic understanding of DNA technology required of an expert forensic witness. Further, the DA alleges that the DNA expert’s lab, a lab which has processed DNA evidence for many high-profile cases, potentially including the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, is not even accredited.
“Testimony in Denver District Court earlier this week revealed that Eikelenboom has committed fundamental DNA analysis errors by not following accepted scientific standards in the DNA field.”
Oh, so the DNA expert who helped acquit Casey Anthony was just declared 'not an expert' bc of lack of proficiency/training. Hmmmmm.
— Kendra (@hintofspy) September 1, 2016
Remember Casey Anthony & Jon Ramsey Benet cases? This fraud was the DNA expert witness https://t.co/UCNlOhiC9Z
— Keith Douglas (@keith_douglas) September 2, 2016
— skbsoccermom (@skbsoccermom) September 9, 2016
Officially, Richard Eikelenboom claims to be an expert in DNA analysis and the analysis of bloodstain patterns. It is unknown precisely what evidence he and his wife may have examined in the case of JonBenet Ramsey that led him to contribute to the conclusion that her parents were excluded as suspects in the pageant tot’s brutal murder.
Unlike in the JonBenet Ramsey case, the purported DNA expert’s contribution to the Casey Anthony defense is well documented. At the Casey Anthony trial, Eikelenboom was an expert witness for the defense. He provided his testimony regarding the duct tape that was found on the remains of little Caylee Anthony, but he never actually examined the duct tape in question. According to the DNA expert, he was never asked to do so.
— Brit + Co (@BritandCo) August 30, 2016
Eikelenboom works alongside his wife at Independent Forensic Services, a private DNA and forensics lab in the Netherlands. He also has facilities in Colorado. According to the Denver DA, who has had some very harsh words for the Casey Anthony and JonBenet Ramsey forensic expert, his Colorado facilities aren’t accredited. Eikelenboom has refuted those claims, adding that his Colorado lab has been certified by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey seems to think that the purported DNA expert in both the Casey Anthony and JonBenet Ramsey cases is among the worst kinds of expert witnesses imaginable. According to Morrissey, Eikelenboom will do or say anything for a buck.
“He’s just about willing to say anything for a dollar and that’s what I find offensive about him.”
— Tanya (@tanyaqiin) September 10, 2016
The Denver prosecutor says that the JonBenet Ramsey DNA analyst, after admitting on the stand that he is self-trained and lacks proficiency in his so-called “expert” profession, should be disqualified as an expert witness altogether.
“In cases where little girls were murdered, entire families were killed, women were raped, people are going to know that when he came to Denver he wasn’t an expert. And a judge is going to look at that and have a long pause if they let him testify as an expert again.”
Durango Forensics CLE Speakers & DNA Experts Selma & Richard Eikelenboom have exonerated innocents using "Touch DNA" https://t.co/L1dZuqkv6X
— NMCDLA (@nmcdla) April 25, 2016
The former Casey Anthony trial expert DNA witness and investigator into the JonBenet Ramsey murder came forward almost immediately after being debunked in Colorado to defend his reputation and credentials. According to Eikelenboom, because he’s made a name for himself as someone who exposes shoddy police work as well as who frees innocent defendants after wrongful convictions, he expects prosecutors to treat him harshly.
“We are very surprised by all of this. I think they’re very scared from some of the cases we’ve worked on, and this could be a miscarriage of justice and we will expose that if they are.”
Richard Eikelenboom further alleges that he has been slandered by both the district court judge and prosecutor in Denver and has spoken of getting an attorney to protect his interests and name.
— Lady Womble (@clarkeys6l) September 9, 2016
In addition to being involved in the Casey Anthony and JonBenet Ramsey cases, the self-taught DNA expert also played a role in the Masters trial. Masters was convicted in 1999 of killing Peggy Hettrick in Fort Colins in the late 1980s. In 2008, Masters was freed based on DNA evidence, and while the evidence in question didn’t appear to have any connection to the Casey Anthony and JonBenet Ramsey DNA expert, the Illinois Innocence Project credits the Eikelenboom’s for their role in Masters’ freedom.
“Their work in the Masters case led to the first Touch DNA exoneration in the United States.”
At this point, it’s unknown whether or not the new revelations about the qualifications of the Casey Anthony and JonBenet Ramsey expert witness could lead to those or any other cases being re-examined.
[Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images]