DNA links convicted felon to burglary years later


ALPHARETTA, Ga. - Alpharetta police said blood left at a burglary scene has helped them link a convicted felon to the crime years after the fact.

Police said Christopher Trotter broke into a home on Mid Broadwell Road in August 2009, then into a car on the property.

"(He) stole some electronics, stereo equipment from a vehicle, and anything basically that he could get of value," said Alpharetta Department of Public Safety spokesman George Gordon. "He broke out a car window and left behind a significant amount of blood splatter on the side of the car, the trunk and the ground."

Gordon said evidence technicians collected blood samples and sent them off to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and the case went cold.

Then, about a year later, Gordon said the GBI notified Alpharetta police they'd matched DNA taken from the scene with Trotter's DNA in a database of convicted felons.

Trotter was serving time in a state prison for two robberies committed about the same time as the Alpharetta burglary.

"Historically, law enforcement comes in contact with about 1 percent of the population throughout our careers, and it's generally repeat offenders that we deal with," Gordon said. "That database really paid off."

Gordon said officers intercepted Trotter a few weeks ago before he was to be released from prison.

"I can imagine the surprise on this individual's face when he's getting out of prison, then Alpharetta police show up to take him into custody for additional charges," he said.

Neighbor Charles Lewis told Petchenik he's glad police have cracked the case.

"After watching 'CSI,' you kind of learn that DNA can come back to get you," Lewis said. "It shows the justice system works."

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