The Nancy Kissel Case - Part 24

(The Standard)  Blood from accused, victim found at scene.  By Albert Wong.  July 16, 2005.

Government forensic scientist Dr Pang Chi-ming continued to identify blood-stained items in the High Court Friday, testifying he conducted blood tests and DNA analyses on a large number of exhibits in the Milkshake Murder trial.

Pang said Thursday that blood found on the base of the heavy metal ornament, believed by police to be the murder weapon, ''possibly'' belonged to the deceased.  But he said Friday that DNA and blood from both Nancy Kissel and her husband, Robert Kissel, could be found on the heads of the figurines that were once attached to that base.

Nancy Kissel, 41, is accused of serving her husband a pink milkshake laced with sedatives, which left him unconscious at the foot of their bed before she beat him to death with a heavy metal ornament on November 2, 2003.  The accused told a doctor and the police at the time that her drunken husband had assaulted her after she refused him sex, and then disappeared. She denies the charge and is out on bail.  The banker's decomposing body, wrapped up in a carpet and emitting a foul smell was found in a storeroom in the Parkview residential complex in the early hours of November 7.

Pang explained Friday that he marked out the alleged murder scene from the patches of deep-red staining from which he took samples for his blood and DNA analyses.  He identified stains from a patch of carpet between the foot of the bed and chest of drawers, the chest of drawers, and rim of the wardrobe in the master bedroom, the alleged murder scene, as consisting of blood and DNA that "possibly'' came from the deceased.  But he could find no traces of blood or DNA from the stain on the wall behind the headboard of the bed.

Items which were found sealed in boxes and visibly soaked with a deep-red element were also taken out of their exhibit bags for Pang to show from which areas he took the samples for his tests.  Results from the samples on bed sheets, duvet, towels, pillows and other bed linen showed there was blood, and DNA results showed they "possibly'' came from the deceased.

The satins on a cushion which were described by a "blood-stain pattern'' expert, Dr Lun Tze-shan, as showing signs of being the "impact pattern'' were also confirmed by tests to carry blood and DNA "possibly'' from the deceased.

(SCMP; no link)  Blood stain on weapon 'possibly' defendant's.  By Polly Hui.  July 16, 2005.

Blood samples that might have come from Nancy Kissel were found on the heavy metal ornament used to bludgeon her husband to death, a government chemist told the Court of First Instance yesterday.

Pang Chi-ming, a DNA typing expert who testified as a prosecution witness for the second day yesterday, said his analysis revealed a mixture of DNA in the two blood samples obtained from the heads of two figurines on Kissel's heirloom. He told government prosecutor Ada Chan the possible sources of the DNA mixture were Kissel and the deceased.

The prosecution said that the 3.7kg ornament was in the form of two girls seated face to face on an oval base the size of a man's hand. It alleges the defendant used the ornament to deal a series of fatal blows to the head of her husband, American banker Robert Peter Kissel, in their Parkview flat on or around November 2, 2003.  Nancy Kissel, 41, has pleaded not guilty to a count of murder.

Evidence given by Wong Koon-hung, a chemist who testified on Thursday, identified the back of the two figurine heads as the locations where "a significant force" had been applied.  He added that this caused the legs of the two figurines - which lay flat on the base - to bend upwards.

Dr Pang said the blood samples extracted from other parts of the ornament, such as the top and bottom of the base, contained DNA that could only have come from the deceased.  Dr Pang, who explained his DNA findings on a large number of bloodstained exhibits in court yesterday, said he found a blood stain between the third and fourth fingers of the interior of a black plastic glove the police seized from the Kissel daughters' room.

He told the jurors that DNA tests indicated the defendant was possibly the source of the stain and added that another bodily substance extracted from other parts of the glove was also possibly from her.  The other bloodstained exhibits that were shown in court yesterday - including a number of cushions, pillows, and duvets - carried DNA possibly from the deceased, said Dr Pang.

The witness also told jurors that he found "quite a lot of blood" on a pair of navy blue shorts and a blue T-shirt exhibited in court yesterday.  The clothing was allegedly worn by the deceased.  The smell from the blood-stained items was such that the court interpreter wore a face mask and at least one juror covered his nose with a handkerchief.

In cross-examination, Alexander King SC, lawyer for the defence, asked Mr Wong why part of the DNA types taken from a carpet sample from the master bedroom could not be obtained.  

"Would a possible reason be that the carpet had been cleaned by sodium carbonate," asked Mr King.  Mr Wong replied: "I don't know if sodium carbonate would damage the DNA."

He added he had not tested for the presence of the chemical, which is used in cleaning products, on the carpet sample.  Asked if he had examined a piece of cloth found at the end of the couple's bed and the deceased's black pants, Dr Pang said his records showed that he had not done so.

The case continues before Mr Justice Michael Lunn on Monday.

(The Standard)  Kissel murder trial to hear again from expert.  By Albert Wong.  July 18, 2005.

An expert in the tools of crime will continue to be cross-examined when the Nancy Kissel murder trial continues today.

Forensic scientist Wong Koon-hung testified Thursday but his cross-examination was postponed when defense counsel took time off to review his recently provided case notes.  Wong, who is the "instruments expert'' for the prosecution, said blue tape that secured the top of the carpet, which was wrapped around the body of Robert Kissel, came from the same bundle of tape found in the living room of the Kissels' Parkview apartment at Tai Tam.  Wong said the heavy metal ornament suspected of being the murder weapon weighed 3.71 kilograms and a "significant force'' would have been required to deform its figurines and detach them from the base.

The jury trial of Nancy Kissel, 41, began June 7. She is accused of serving her husband a milkshake laced with sedatives, which is said to have left the Merrill Lynch investment banker unconscious at the foot of their bed.  She is alleged to have beaten him to death with the ornament on November 2, 2003.  The accused told a doctor and police at the time that her drunken husband had assaulted her after she refused him sex and then disappeared.  She denies the murder charge and is on bail.  The banker's decomposing body was found wrapped in a carpet in a storeroom at the Parkview residential complex November 7.

Last Monday, another government forensic expert testified bloodstain patterns found in the master bedroom led him to conclude the banker had been attacked on the floor without a struggle.  Lun Tze-shan said it was unlikely that an elongated weapon was used because he could not find any "cast-off blood,'' which would have been left around the room as a result of the flinging action.

Under cross-examination Tuesday, Lun conceded that he "failed to locate all blood stains that were present around the room,'' that he considered some other "action'' might have taken place at the head of the bed and worried that the suspected crime scene had been tampered with before he conducted his blood stain pattern analysis.

Referring to photographs taken by police scientific officer Tam Chi-ching a day before Lun's inspection, senior counsel for the accused, Alexander King, pointed out blood spots on items in the opposite corner of the room.  King suggested that his conclusions were "fundamentally flawed'' since he omitted blood stains from other areas of the room and that furniture had already been removed before he conducted his analysis.  Lun said he was unaware that furniture had been removed but maintained his conclusions were not flawed since he said it was "likely'' the deceased offered no struggle at the end of the bed.

Last Wednesday, a television and chest of drawers, formerly situated at the foot of the Kissels' bed and said to have been splashed with blood, were displayed to the judge and jury.  Police officer Chan Kin-wah said the green rug which he had seized on November 12 seemed to be the same rug that the accused was shown to be carrying on CCTV footage.  The tag on the rug with its identification details concurred with those on a receipt from furniture store Tequila Kola, which shows that the accused had bought a four-foot by six-foot green rug.

Pang Chi-ming, the prosecution's DNA expert, testified Thursday that samples of blood and DNA on the base of the heavy metal ornament "probably'' belonged to the deceased, with a one in 429 billion chance that it belonged to someone else.  He testified Friday that samples of DNA from blood on the heads of the figurines possibly came from both the deceased and the accused.

The case continues today before Justice Michael Lunn.