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SD Supreme Court: Brad Reay Asks For New Trial

October 1, 2008, 5:08 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SD Supreme Court: Brad Reay Asks For New Trial
The Pierre man convicted of murdering his wife and dumping her naked body near the Oahe dam wants a new trial. Brad Reay's attorney told the South Dakota Supreme Court Wednesday his trial was missing one person's testimony on how evidence was handled. 

Investigators sealed off the Reay family home in Pierre in February 2006. But Brad Reay's attorney is raising questions about how state investigators handled evidence between the crime scene and the court room. 

Brad Reay's attorney Tim Rensch says, "It's their requirement to properly trace the chain of the evidence showing the exact whereabouts and rendering it improbable that the evidence ever would have been changed, modified, substituted, excetera." 

Brad Reay's attorney, Tim Rensch, says the trial was missing the state crime lab custodian's testimony. It's something Supreme Court Justice John Konenkamp says is a common part of a murder trial. 

South Dakota Supreme Court Justice John Konenkamp says, "I've been a judge for 24 years and I've never seen a case where a prosecutor doesn't put in a complete chain and this is really extraordinary." 

The attorney for the state argued while the custodian didn't testify, several other investigators did explain how they handled evidence, which should be good enough. 

State attorney Steven Blair says, "The state does not have to put on a perfect or complete chain of custody. We just have to put on a sufficient chain of custody that shows the whereabouts of that evidence from the time it's collected, or in this case from the time it entered the lab, until it's introduced at trial. And it makes it improbable that it was altered or substituted." 

Now it's up to the South Dakota Supreme Court Justices to decide whether the missing testimony is enough to warrant a new trial. 

Reay's attorney also argued Reay's mother-in-law was allowed to testify, and the judge wouldn't allow the jury to consider the defense's theory about what happened. 

The Supreme Court's decision will come at a later date.

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