Discredited Teeth Marks Leads to Denial of Plea of Murder Convict

Discredited Teeth Marks Leads to Denial of Plea of Murder Convict

Charles McCrory, a man from Alabama had been convicted in 1985 for the murder of his wife, Julie Bonds. The Judges from the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals denied the appeal of Charles McCrory last week in the case that hung in part on recanted testimony about teeth marks.

McCrory and Bonds were married but lived apart at the time. However they shared the care of their 3-year-old son and were attending marriage counseling.

Bonds was found dead at her house in Andalusia in South Alabama. She suffered several stab wounds and blows to the head during the attack, but investigators never found the murder weapon or traces of blood on McCrory’s clothes or vehicle.

During the trials of this case the prosecutors said that McCrory was unhappy in his marriage and had been having an affair with a former co-worker and that’s why he killed his wife. 

Dr. Richard Souviron, an expert in matching teeth marks to criminal suspects, testified in the trials that two small cuts on Bonds arm matched McCrory’s top front teeth. However, in 2019, Souviron abjured his testimony in the case and two other experts also submitted affidavits saying the evidence used in trial has been discredited by advances in forensic science.

According to M. Chris Fabricant, an attorney at the Innocence Project and an expert on bite mark evidence, “McCrory’s case is the only known bite mark conviction in Alabama.”

At present McCrory is serving a life imprisonment but he will be seeking a new trial that would not include the discredited teeth marks evidence. 

In the trials of last week, the judges said the McCrory’s attorneys didn’t prove that McCrory wouldn’t have been convicted without the teeth mark testimony. They added that the state still had an eyewitness who said he saw McCrory’s Ford Bronco in front of the victim’s home on the morning of the murder.

 It has been stated that the jurors could look at the cuts on Bonds arm and compare them to McCrory’s teeth.

The court also upheld a previous decision by a circuit judge in Covington County that the state made its case without the inclusion of teeth mark evidence.

The Court states that the evidence against the defendant was sufficient for the rational finder of fact to reasonably exclude every hypothesis except that of guilt, even excluding the testimony of Dr. Souviron.

The jury also said that the could have made the physical comparison between the injury to the victim’s arm and the mold of the defendant’s teeth marks on their own.

However, McCrory has maintained his innocence for more than 30 years. In fact on the eve of his 2021 evidentiary hearing in Covington County, he rejected a deal to plead guilty and leave prison.

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