Murder suspect's cases may have to be re-examined - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Murder suspect's cases may have to be re-examined

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A former police criminal analyst dies and is named a suspect in a decades-old murder. Now, the integrity of the cases that he worked on is being called into question.

Kevin Charles Brown was found dead of an apparent suicide earlier this week.

San Diego police say DNA evidence linked him to the killing of 14-year-old Claire Hough, who was found dead on Torrey Pines State Beach in 1984.

That link could jeopardize the credibility of other cases on which Brown worked.

“This is a very very unique situation,” prominent defense attorney, Bill Nimmo said. 

When 62-year-old Kevin Brown committed suicide this week the former criminal analyst for the San Diego Police Department was named a suspect in a 30 year old murder.

Claire Hough was found on Torrey Pines State Beach in 1984 and was the victim of a brutal murder. Now, some cases Brown had worked on may be re-opened over credibility concerns.

“There's a lot of cases that he worked on and there's going to be re-examination for sure,” Nimmo said. 

Brown worked in the forensics lab at the police department for 20 years until he retired in 2012.

It was that same year when a DNA hit finally made its way back to the cold case unit and it was determined Brown's DNA was found on Hough's body.

Police say he was never assigned to that case.

Investigators also found the DNA of another man on Hough's body -- Ronald Tatro -- who is Brown's alleged accomplice.

He died in a 2011 boating accident in Tennessee.

All this new information could jeopardize the cases where Brown testified as a witness over credibility concerns.

Police say they were set to arrest Brown shortly before he committed suicide at Cuyamaca State Park. But his widow claims police harassed her husband and that the DNA found on Hough was due to cross-contamination.

“As soon as they push him to suicide, they say, 'oh, it's solved,' and he is not the man. He is not the man that did that,” Rebecca Brown said.  

Since Brown will never stand trial, experts say questions will always linger.

“Why should you believe this individual? People with normal integrity and credibility don't do these kind of things,” said Nimmo. 

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