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Defense still awaiting DNA evidence in 1986 Chisholm slaying

A judge indicated he may release the defendant from custody if an agreement is not in place by next week to ensure timely access to investigative reports.

Michael Carbo Jr.

Three weeks after seeking sanctions, the defendant in a 1986 Chisholm homicide has only received a "fraction" of the files he requested from a company that reportedly used DNA technology to crack the cold case last summer, a defense attorney said Tuesday.

Michael Allen Carbo Jr., 52, was charged in July with intentional second-degree murder in the rape and killing of Nancy Daugherty, a 38-year-old mother of two. But more than six months later, public defender J.D. Schmid said he is still "missing some pretty basic information" and cannot move the case forward.

Schmid has asked a judge to consider releasing his client from custody and, possibly, excluding all evidence from Parabon NanoLabs, the company that combed public genealogy databases and identified Carbo as a possible suspect in the first-of-its-kind investigation in Minnesota.

Judge Mark Starr on Jan. 29 ordered Parabon and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to either give Carbo his requested discovery documents or file affidavits explaining why they are unable to do so.


Nancy Daugherty

Schmid said Tuesday that he has since received a voluminous file from the BCA, but few requested documents from Parabon. The company has not filed any explanation with the court.

Schmid and St. Louis County prosecutor Karl Sundquist did indicate they were in the process of arranging a conference call with Parabon officials to discuss the delays and attempt to reach an agreement on when the documents can be produced.

"We are hoping to do that in the next week," Schmid told the court. "But, at this point, I would ask that the motion (for sanctions) remain in place."

PREVIOUSLY: Arrest made in 1986 Iron Range homicide

Sundquist told the court he hoped the conversation would resolve the situation.

"I think we've agreed that maybe everybody getting on the phone and going through the list is probably the best thing so we can get answers," the prosecutor said.

Starr scheduled a new hearing for Feb. 25 on the defense's motion. The judge indicated he may be forced to take action if Carbo is not soon provided with the reports.


"If there isn't a good explanation and there's no reasonable timeline, then the court's going to have to look at, at a minimum, releasing the defendant, pending an opportunity for the defense to look at all the discovery," Starr said.

Carbo was arrested July 29 after a renewed effort by the Chisholm Police Department to solve the decades-old case. Police had contracted with Parabon, a private company based in Reston, Virginia, that analyzes public genealogy databases and helps law enforcement agencies identify case leads.

Parabon was able to construct a genetic lineage for the suspect, determining that Carbo was associated with the lineage and resided in the area, according to a criminal complaint.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension then obtained DNA samples from Carbo directly, determining it to be a match for evidence obtained at the 1986 crime scene. Authorities said it was the first time a case has been solved in Minnesota with the assistance of Parabon.

PREVIOUSLY: Judge denies supervised release for defendant in 1986 Chisholm homicide The 52-year-old is "strongly connected to the Iron Range" and worked with people with developmental disabilities prior to his arrest, a defense attorney told the court.
Carbo was 18 years old when Daugherty was found beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled inside her Chisholm home on July 16, 1986. A nursing home aide, part-time bartender and volunteer emergency medical technician, Daugherty was planning to move to the Twin Cities that morning to continue her schooling.

There was no clear connection between Daugherty and Carbo, though authorities said he lived within a mile and had attended school with her children.

Carbo, who lacks any significant criminal history, has spent nearly his entire life in the Chisholm area, according to court documents. Schmid said he has two daughters and was working with people with developmental disabilities at the Range Center at the time of his arrest.

Carbo remains at the St. Louis County Jail, having been unable to post a $1 million bond .

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