By Ashton Goodell
Channel 2 News
3:33 PM AKDT, June 6, 2011
Forensic experts at the murder trial of Kenneth Dion testified Monday that they can't say the exact time Dion and victim Bonnie Craig had sexual contact before she was killed at McHugh Creek in September 1994.
Craig's murder became a longstanding cold case in Alaska. It wasn't until 2007 that Kenneth Dion was charged with her rape and murder, after DNA evidence linked him to the crime.
Forensic scientist Kristin Denning estimates the fluid exchange could have happened just hours or four days before Craig's death.
The prosecution says Craig was raped the day of her death, while the defense says the sex was consensual and likely happened days before Craig's body was found at McHugh Creek. If the defense is correct, that information could distance Dion from the scene.
There's no dispute Dion's sperm was found on Craig's clothes and body. What is in dispute is when they had sex and whether it was consensual.
"Just because we have the presence of sperm doesn't mean Ken Dion murdered Bonnie Craig does it? Defense Attorney Andrew Lambert asked Denning.
"I can't answer to that," Denning responded.
"Just because there is presence of sperm doesn't mean he sexually assaulted her does it?" Lambert asked.
"I can't answer to that either, so yes you are correct," Denning said.
Denning says other experts at the crime lab found small rock, tissue, and debris under Craig's fingernails, which could show signs of a struggle, but also could be everyday build-up under her nails.
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