The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 19, 2013

Fingerprints, blood analyzed in Pollard trial

OTTUMWA — Witnesses zoomed in on the minute details of the crime scene in the Bruce Pollard case, analyzing fingerprints and DNA found on several items.

Pollard, 26, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the death of Cinema X manager Kenneth McDaniel on March 11, 2012. His body was discovered two days later.

Dr. Sabrina Seehafer, of the DNA section of the Iowa DCI crime lab, provided Darwin Chapman, an expert in fingerprint analysis with the DCI, a buccal — or cheek — swab from Pollard and a "blood card" from McDaniel to establish their DNA profiles.

From the several blood-stained areas in Cinema X, none came back as a match for Pollard's DNA, she said.

"The major contributor in all of the stains was Kenneth McDaniel," she said. "In laymen's terms, that's a match."

Five bloody areas of McDaniel's body were swabbed during the autopsy and sent to DCI. All matched McDaniel's DNA but one area, on McDaniel's right hand, which tested positive for a mixture of DNA.

That mixture tested positive for both McDaniel's and Pollard's DNA.

The dark blue polo shirt prosecutors allege Pollard was wearing when he killed McDaniel was also tested, and both McDaniel's and Pollard's blood were found.

Seehafer also noted that McDaniel's blood was identified on the pry bar.

Defense attorney Allen Cook asked Seehafer if, "we assume that the [front door] was locked prior to the altercation and if we further assume that Kenneth McDaniel was behind Bruce Pollard when [he] discovered that the door was locked," would Pollard have had "any reasonable means to escape?"

It was "close quarters" in Cinema X, Seehafer said, and while the counters are not terribly high, it would have been difficult to leap or climb over them.

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