Detective will be disciplined following murder conviction goof
Posted: 10/01/2012 at 3:51 pm
ELKHART — An Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department detective will be disciplined after it was found that insufficient fingerprint testing and evidence was used to convict a murder suspect in 2005.
On Monday afternoon, Sheriff Brad Rogers discussed recent decision by the Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to join in a motion to the Elkhart Circuit Court to overturn Lana Canen’s 2005 murder conviction in the case of the 2002 murder of Helen Sailor.
An evidentiary hearing was held Aug. 16, where Canen sought to have her conviction set aside based on what she claimed was faulty evidence used in her trial.
During the hearing, Detective Dennis Chapman of the sheriff’s department testified that he no longer believed that a finger print found on a prescription pill container in Sailor’s room matched Canen’s left small finger. Chapman had testified during the 2005 trial that the print did match her left small finger, according to his fingerprint analysis.
“We as police officers are fallible. It just didn’t go far enough,” Rogers said Monday of the print comparisons.
Rogers said than an internal affairs investigaion determined that Chapman should be disciplined for his action, but he did not reveal what the punishment would be.
Canen was sentenced to 55 years in the Indiana Department of Correction after being convicted of murdering Sailor at the Waterfall High Rise apartments by an Elkhart Circuit Court jury.