Nellis’ DNA on victim’s clothes

JOHNSTOWN — Several items of evidence, more than a hundred guns and DNA played a crucial role in the investigation that led to the arrest of Daniel Nellis for the alleged murder of Michaela MacVilla, and those items were presented to the jury in Nellis’ trial on Thursday in Fulton County Court.

At an apartment at 53 Dolge Ave., Dolgeville, testimony revealed that approximately 33 hand guns and 102 long guns were found.

Investigator Dennis Rounds testified on Thursday that he found a set of keys at Nellis’s residence at 758 Route 108, Oppenheim that matched the locks to that Dolgeville apartment.

When searching the Dolgeville apartment, Rounds testified that he also found several dressers and mattresses there, National Grid paperwork in Nellis’s name, along with the guns, ammunition and items used to make ammunition. Direct examination by Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown indicated the apartment was mostly used for storage.

While on the stand, Rounds was asked by Brown to look at more than 241 photographs that were taken at 52 Dolge Ave., that showed the guns and ammunition. Some of those photos were then presented to the jury to show the number of items found in the apartment.

Rounds testified that some of the handguns found were taken into evidence to be tested to see if the bullets matched the one found in MacVilla’s skull, about which Andrea Lester, a forensics investigator with the firearms unit testified that there weren’t any matches.

She said she determined that some of the bullets had similar characteristics, but did not match the one that killed MacVilla. One of the revolvers found had a red stain on the bottom, which later would be tested for DNA. None of the witnesses called to testify thus far have provided information on whether the stain was blood or who it may have belonged to.

Rounds also testified to evidence of items located at the 758 Route 108 residence in which he photographed and documented everything. Those photos were also presented to the jury during the trial. Those items included a red shirt that Rounds said Nellis was seen wearing in one of the surveillance videos; a long-sleeve button-up shirt; socks; and swabs from a red stain found in a red pick-up truck in Nellis’ driveway. Rounds testified that all items of evidence were sent to the forensics lab for further analysis and to be tested for DNA. Also being tested for DNA were items collected off of MacVilla, such as her black Stewart’s jacket, maroon Stewart’s shirt, her black pants and underwear.

Testifying to the items collected to be analyzed in the forensics lab and to be tested for DNA were forensics scientist Daisha King and forensics investigator Peter Lewis.

King testified items she tested were items from the sexual assault kit performed on MacVilla, including head hair, pubic hair, anal swab, cervical swab, vaginal swab, vulvar swab, oral swabs, fingernail scrapings, swabs from a bite mark on MacVilla’s neck and swabs from a bite mark on her left hip.

King testified the items that tested positive for blood included the maroon Stewart’s shirt, the swab from the red pick up truck, the sock, swabs from the neck, swabs from the hip and the anal swab.

Sperm was able to be identified on the anal swab, the vulvar swab and the vaginal swab. On the underwear and the anal swab, seminal fluid was found.

All of the swabs and evidence items were passed on to be analyzed for DNA by Lewis. He testified that Nellis’ DNA was found on MacVilla’s cell phone, the anal swab, fingernail scrapings, neck, cervical swab, the black Stewart’s jacket, the sock, MacVilla’s black pants and her underwear.

Reports of the DNA findings were then presented to the jury.

The trial will resume today.

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