BOSTON (AP) - A Wellesley doctor convicted of killing his wife after she discovered his secret life of prostitutes and pornography will not get a new trial, the highest court in Massachusetts ruled Thursday.
Lawyers for Dirk Greineder argued he was entitled to a new trial because his constitutional right to confront witnesses against him was violated when a supervisor testified on behalf of the DNA analyst who actually performed testing in the case.
The Supreme Judicial Court found, however, that Greineder's lawyers "had a meaningful opportunity to cross-examine" the supervisor who testified and said Greineder is not entitled to a new trial.
The court had previously rejected the argument but reconsidered it at the instruction of the U.S. Supreme Court, which cited its recent guidance on DNA testimony.
The court found the trial judge properly admitting the testimony of Dr. Robin Cotton, the forensic laboratory director of Cellmark Diagnostics, a private DNA testing laboratory. Cotton testified that Greineder's DNA matched DNA found on a knife and two gloves found at the crime scene. Cotton testified about the results obtained by an analyst who did not testify.
Although Cotton's testimony specifically on the data from the other analyst's test should not have been allowed, it was not the type of error that would merit a new trial, the court determined.
The ruling said Cotton's offering expert opinion, based on the results of a nontestifying analyst, didn't violate Greineder's rights.
"Dr. Cotton's expert opinion that the defendant's DNA matched the DNA on items recovered from the crime scene was properly admitted," Justice Francis Spina wrote for the court in the ruling.
The court said its decision was consistent with recent rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court on DNA evidence.
Greineder was a well-known allergist at Brigham & Women's Hospital when he was charged with beating his wife, Mabel, and slashing her throat during an early-morning walk near their home.