Deadly Ride

After 30 Years, A Suspect Is Charged In Coed's Murder


If a mistake was made with Ruelas, Gabry says, the evidence against Leiterman cannot be trusted. "It's going out on quite a limb to say, 'well, there's contamination in this part, but there's not contamination in this part.'"

Hiller insists nothing went wrong at the lab and called witnesses who described the great pains taken at the lab to keep all evidence separate, to prevent and to catch errors.

Lab supervisor Jeffrey Nye says he retraced every step and he does not believe there is any issue of contamination. "No issue whatsoever," he says.

But Gabry questioned how Ruelas' blood ended up on Jane Mixer.

How that happened, the prosecutor says, is lost to history. But he insists the evidence clearly shows that somehow, some way, four-year-old Ruelas was there.

"His blood was on her," says Hiller.

With Hiller's case hinging on DNA, defense attorney Gabry highlighted other evidence that points away from Gary Leiterman.

For example, Leiterman's fingerprints did not match any of the prints still unidentified in the case. Nor did Leiterman own a car anything like the one seen speeding away the night of the crime.

Leiterman did not take the stand. Two weeks after opening arguments, the jurors began deliberating.

Leiterman's close friend, Rachel Kube, says the case against him seems weak. "I don't believe Gary did this. There were way, way, way too many unexplained things."

Still, Leiterman's family was worried. And even the Mixer family felt sympathy towards them.

"Gary Leiterman is a loved person by many people. If he's found guilty, that will be a very deep tragedy for his family," says Maggie. "I try to put myself in their position. My heart goes out to them," Barbara adds.

Even so, Barbara and Maggie have come to believe that the state has proved its case and Barbara thinks the DNA is the most incriminating evidence presented.