Lab delays linked to shooting?

Published 03/01 2013 06:12PM

Updated 03/01 2013 06:26PM

SPRINGFIELD -- More details about how delays at the Illinois State Police Crime Lab may have played a part in a Champaign County shooting. Ardis Fenn shot Curtis Mosley in the leg in June. His trial was delayed while the state waited on evidence. Eventually a judge let him go.

Mosley was shot again and killed the night before Fenn's trial was supposed to start. No one's been charged in his death. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels has been investigating.

The crime lab can take months to process evidence. The state police sent us a report showing when evidence in the Fenn case came into the lab and when it was returned. There was a big delay, but it's not the whole story.

Fenn's trial was supposed to start in mid-October. The evidence got to the lab in July, but sat for three months. So, the Champaign County State's Attorney had to ask the judge to push back the trial, four different times.

But, State's Attorney Julia Reitz says that's common. More often than not, courts have to hold off on cases while waiting for evidence.

The evidence was fully processed and mailed back to Urbana in December, but Reitz says the real problem came in January. The lead prosecutor on the case slipped and fell and had to go to the hospital.

That delayed Fenn's trial again, and that's when the judge made the decision to release him. The trial's supposed to start within 120 days of the arrest. But, from the day the evidence got to the lab to the day all of it was processed took 154 days.

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