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Brianna Denison Murder: Will Son's DNA Convict Father?

This undated picture made available via The Reno Gazette-Journal shows Brianna Denison. Reno police said Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 they believe the young woman, who disappeared from a friend's home early Sunday morning, was kidnapped. Denison, 19, was last seen around 4 a.m. Sunday when she went to sleep on a couch at a friend's home near the University of Nevada, Reno. AP Photo/The Reno Gazette-Journal

Brianna Denison (Credit: AP/The Reno Gazette-Journal)

RENO, Nev. (CBS/AP) - Accused killer and rapist James Biela refused to give police a DNA sample, so they took DNA from his son instead. Now a Washoe County, Nev. judge has ruled the son's DNA can indeed be used by prosecutors to try to tie Biela to the January, 2008 murder of 19-year-old Brianna Denison, who vanished while sleeping on a friend's couch near the University of Nevada-Reno campus.

Denison's body was found three weeks later.

Biela's lawyers had tried to suppress the DNA evidence taken from his son, a minor, who submitted the sample with the consent of his mother, who is Biela's girlfriend. From that, forensic experts determined the boy's biological father could not be ruled out as the source of DNA evidence gathered from the crime scene in the Brianna Denison case, and in two rapes with which Biela is also charged.

Washoe District Judge Robert Perry last Monday denied the motion by Biela's lawyers to suppress the son's DNA sample.

Biela has pleaded not guilty to Denison's murder. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

The trial is scheduled to start in May.


  • Carlin Miller

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