Travis Vader's lawyer hopes hair samples will lead to other suspects

When the Travis Vader first-degree murder trial resumes Thursday, the judge will have to sort out a legal battle.

Vader’s lawyer Brian Beresh wants his own DNA expert to access highly-specialized test results conducted at a lab in Thunder Bay, Ont.

The Warnex Pro-DNA lab tested the DNA of eight hair samples seized from various crime scenes related to the McCann case, including a barbecue, a pair of jeans, a glove, a blanket, a pillowcase and track pants.

Since none came back as an absolute match to Vader, the Crown prosecutor does not intend to call any of the evidence.

However, Beresh said he believes those samples could lead the defence to other suspects in the case.

“My friend (Crown presecutor) is well aware this is a case about exclusion, not inclusion,” Beresh said Tuesday. “We think there could be an inclusion of who could be the actual suspect in this case.”

On Tuesday Beresh told Justice Denny Thomas that RCMP investigators had “tunnel vision” and ignored DNA evidence that didn’t match his client.

He said he plans to call a number of experts to testify in the areas of blood spatter, DNA, hair analysis and fingerprints.

In an affidavit filed with the courts Tuesday, DNA expert Randell Libby of Seattle, Wash., said it’s necessary for him to inspect the Ontario lab personally. 

Beresh will be asking for a court order to make that happen.

Last week Libby was granted access to the RCMP DNA lab in Edmonton, where he reviewed testing procedures and test results in relation to the case.

Vader is accused of killing Lyle and Marie McCann in 2010. His six-week trial continues Thursday after taking a one day break. 



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