HOT SPRINGS -- A DNA sample from a former Hot Springs police chief submitted in connection with the 2011 death of a Hot Springs Village police dispatcher was excluded as a match to DNA found on the victim, the former chief's attorney said Friday.
The acquisition of the DNA sample from David Flory was the result of a court order issued Tuesday by Garland County Circuit Judge John Homer Wright in response to a motion filed by the attorneys for Kevin Conway Duck, 33, who is set to stand trial next week on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Dawna Natzke, 46, whose body was found Dec. 31, 2011.
John Wesley Hall, Flory's attorney, told The Sentinel-Record that he filed a motion to have the DNA purged Friday afternoon as soon as tests at the state Crime Laboratory confirmed Flory was excluded as a possible contributor to the DNA sample found on Natzke.
Hall said Flory voluntarily went to the Crime Lab in Little Rock to be tested Friday morning and "literally submitted his sample directly to the person who would be testing it."
He said in his response to the order requesting Flory's sample that he had argued the request was "unconstitutional on its face" since it was essentially done without any probable cause being presented. He also noted that the order violated the spirit of a gag order because it was not done under seal.
"The defense motion utterly fails to state any factual basis for alleged probable cause to take DNA from him," he wrote.
Hall argued that the order should never have been issued "or it should have been issued after an adversarial proceeding to show that it is utterly without a factual foundation." He noted that "secrecy is hardly an issue since this got such prominent play in the press."
The response says Flory should get to cross-examine the witnesses about the rumor and speculation and where it came from. Hall told The Sentinel-Record that the request was "a red herring" by the defense and shouldn't have been allowed.
The motion filed Monday by Duck's attorneys, T. Clay Janske and Brian Johnson, had stated that Flory "had a relationship with the victim and was a person of interest in the murder of the victim."
In his response, Hall stated, "This is utterly false and a lie."
The response said Flory had no relationship with the victim and "never saw her, crossed her path or even knew of her prior to hearing of her death." It also denied that Flory was a person of interest.
"If he was, one would think that the police would have talked to him. They didn't," the response says. "Why? Because he's not a 'person of interest' and he never was."
Hall wrote that the delay was "a fishing expedition" and an attempt to stall the trial, coming only a few days before the trial was set to begin. A defense motion to delay the trial was denied Thursday.
Hall said Friday that he sent the test results to Wright along with his motion to purge the DNA from the trial, but he had not heard back from Wright as of late Friday. He said he anticipated it would be purged.
A gag order limiting pretrial publicity in the case was issued Wednesday by Wright. Garland County chief deputy prosecutor Joe Graham said Friday that he couldn't comment on the DNA issue, but he confirmed that the trial is set to begin Tuesday.
Duck was arrested Nov. 25, 2013, nearly two years after the body of Natzke, his girlfriend, was found submerged in a pond near the Jessieville community in northern Garland County. An autopsy determined that Natzke died due to blunt-force trauma and drowning.
State Desk on 03/25/2017
Print Headline: Lawyer says test excludes ex-chief