St. Paul Crime Lab Testing Upheld in Dakota Co. Case

Updated: 03/18/2013 6:59 PM By: Leslie Dyste

Testing that was initially conducted at the troubled St. Paul Crime Lab was upheld in a Dakota County case.

According to Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, 43-year-old Richard Ellis Hill, Jr. of Minneapolis was found guilty of 'Controlled Substance Crime in the Second Degree.'

Last summer, a legal review of the St. Paul Crime Lab showed serious deficiencies in the way the lab conducts its testing of evidence in drug cases. According to Backstrom, this is the first case involving whether or not the re-testing of remaining controlled substances previously processed by the St. Paul Police Department Crime Lab would be admissible in a later trial.

In this case, the judge rejected the defense counsel's claims that the substances had been contaminated while they were at the St. Paul Police Department Crime Lab.

The subsequent tests by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were admitted and Hill was found guilty.

Hill's sentencing was set for May 30 in Hastings.