Tommie Lee Andrews is in court this morning for a civil hearing to determine whether he remains too dangerous to reenter society. Andrews was the first person convicted in the US by using DNA evidence.
Andrews has been in prison since 1988 in connection with a series of rape cases in Florida in which women were attacked and raped by a man who broke into their homes.He was initially charged in seven rape cases and DNA evidence helped prosecutors win guilty verdicts for two of those violent rape cases.
Mr. Andrews, now 51, was charged at the age of 24 with breaking into the home of an Orlando woman on May 9, 1886 and raping and stabbing the 27-year-old woman. The woman identified Andrews during the trail as her attacker.
A stranger broke into another Florida woman’s home on February 21, 1987, burglarizing and raping the woman at knife-point. DNA samples of semen collected from this crime scene were sent by police to a New York laboratory for testing and were matched to a sample of blood drawn from Andrews. According to New York Times, experts in genetic analysis testified before a jury in 1988 that the DNA “fingerprint” of Andrews’ blood matched that of the rapist’s semen and that the DNA tests provide the same certainty of identification as do fingerprints.
Andrews was initially sentenced to 100 years, according to Orlando Sentinel, but that time has since been recalculated due to a law that automatically took off one-third of every prisoner’s sentence, reducing the sentence down to 62 years. Another 21 years were taken off after the initial time reduction.
Although Andrews has completed his time as of Oct 31, 2012, a jury decided that Andrews remained too dangerous to reenter society at that time. Following his prison time, Andrews was sent to a treatment facility for sex offenders under a civil-commitment law.
A forensic psychologist, Dr. Amy Swan, testified Friday that Andrews would be a high risk to commit more sexual attacks if he is released. This testimony is based on a forensic interview in which Swan said Andrews made observations about her that suggested his is still engaging in “stalking behavior” stating that “Andrews actually recounted what kind of car I had, that I had a vanity plate on the car, the [position of the] headrest on the passenger side.”
While Swan acknowledged that Andrews has shown good behavior while in custody, Andrews evaluation determined that Andrews has mental and personality disorders and has refused treatment because he continues to insist he is innocent.
Another forensic psychologist testified in court Friday morning that he didn’t see “any appreciable change” in Andrews’ condition since he was committed to the sexual-treatment facility in 2012.
Two doctors evaluated Andrews before his 2012 hearing and testified that he should be sent to the sexual-treatment facility in Arcadia. The facility is “reserved for the worst of the worst,” prosecutor Deb Barra told the Orlando Sentinel during an interview in August 2012.
The jury has not made a decision yet as to whether Andrews will be released.