DNA evidence takes spotlight in Rooney murder trial

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The case against the man accused of killing University of Vermont senior Michelle Gardner-Quinn could go to a jury today.

Prosecutors and the lawyer for suspect Brian Rooney say they’ll wrap up in a Rutland courtroom, where state forensics experts testified yesterday. They say a match between DNA taken from semen found on Michelle Gardner-Quinn and a DNA sample from Rooney had a scientific certainty of 1 in 240 quadrillion.

Rooney is charged with aggravated murder in the October 2006 slaying of the 21-year-old Gardner-Quinn, a recent transfer to the University of Vermont who disappeared after a chance encounter on a Burlington street that started when she borrowed his cell phone because hers had gone dead.

Rooney, who has pleaded not guilty, would get life in prison if convicted.

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