Judge: DNA collected from feminine hygiene product can be used in court

Posted at 7:20 AM, Sep 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-26 17:44:26-04

LAWRENCEVILLE, Va. (WTVR) – After more than a decade, the woman accused of killing and then tossing the bodies of her newborn twins down a trash chute once again faced a judge.

After nearly five hours inside the Brunswick County Courthouse, Judge Nathan Lee denied the request from the defense to throw out evidence collected from a trash can outside the Henrico town home if Darnesha Paulita Berry.

The Commonwealths Attorney argued feminine hygiene products were found inside the trash can, that links Berry to a set of twins killed in 1998.

"The fact that when you throw garbage out, you're abandoning that property and you don't have an expectation of privacy and therefore it really can't be a search under the Constitution," CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said.

Judge Lee ultimately said because it was trash and was seized outside a fence surrounding Berry's town home, the evidence would be allowed during trial.

This case garnered a lot of attention and several leads after CBS 6 Senior Reporter Wayne Covil highlighted the cold case last year. Investigators said tips after that story aired eventually led to Berry.

In 1998 the bodies of newborn twins, a boy and girl, were found in a trash bag dumped at Saint Paul's College, where Berry was a student. She was never considered a suspect at the time.

Investigators eventually found their way to Berry's Henrico home, where they collected her trash. Police said they removed feminine hygiene products and collect Berry's DNA. That evidence, police said, linked Berry to the twins.

The judge also denied Berry bond for a second time while in court Thursday.