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Fast DNA processing leads to home invasion suspect

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BATON ROUGE- Authorities credited a quick turnaround processing DNA evidence at the State Police Crime Lab as what helped lead investigators to Vorris Mouton, the man accused in at least two recent home invasions in the area.

"Once that case became a priority, we called someone in," DNA Manager Joanie Brocato said. "They processed it through the night and in 12 hours, we were looking at and turning over data to the investigators."

The home invasions caused the community to be on edge during the month of January. Workers at the State Police Crime Lab connected the dots, and processed evidence from recent home invasions that were in the system. Currently, cases are prioritized when the come in. Homicides and rapes get top priority, and other cases fall in line behind them.

"We have to triage cases," Brocato said.

Initially when the State Police Crime Lab received the case involving a home invasion from December, it was labeled as a "simple robbery," which does not get a top priority. However, when other home invasions began occurring during the month of January, that's when a closer look was given to the cases.

"When these cases became more violent, it raised the investigators awareness of it," Brocato said.  "Therefore, we started back tracking and said what other cases have we had that might be similar."

Currently the Crime Lab has a 24-day turnaround on cases. However, when a case is given priority status a DNA sample from beginning to end can take anywhere between nine to 12 hours.

News 2 reached one of the victims in this case. She did not want to be identified and did not want to go on camera. She told News 2 when she woke up the suspect was in her bedroom, at which time she got into a scuffle and ordered him out. She showed us her bruises and the bandage on her nose.

"It seems that all the victims we know of so far did what they were supposed to do," District Attorney Hillar Moore said. "They protected themselves without being too aggressive."

Moore said he is currently working to increase the bond amount for Mouton. His bail was set for $40,000 this morning. Moore thinks it's not adequate.

"Based on the severity of the case and the victims, I think the bond needs to be reconsidered," Moore said.

Currently, Mouton won't be going anywhere even if he posts bail. He was on parole for a conviction in New Iberia, and is currently on a parole hold.


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