Rockdale County Superior Court Judge Sidney Nation heard a specially set motion on Monday, concerning a new trial for Nathan Christopher Dwight.
The 22-year Conyers resident was sentenced to life plus five years in prison in July 2010 after being found guilty to armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crim. Howard was arrested as a suspect for the robbery of Bella Vista 2 at gunpoint in August 2009.
On Monday Dwight was represented by Albert Myers , who brought three expert witnesses and Dwight's former attorney, public defender Daniel Partain, to the stand in front of Judge Nations.
The first witness, Nicole Walicki, was a criminal analyst and testified on the DNA testing of clippings taken from a white T-shirt the state used as evidence in Dwight's trial. Walicki told the court that the DNA from the shirt did not match that taken from Dwight.
"Dwight was excluded as a contributor," Walicki said.
The next witness was Kimberly Sutton, an analyst with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who focuses on hair analysis. Sutton analyzes hairs, determining the race and body of origins of the suspect.
Sutton testified that the hair given to her by the state had a different diameter change, and different pigmentation than that provided by Dwight.
The next witness was Sara Holden who at the time worked as a micro analyst for the GBI, examining fibers. Holden said the fiber she was given from the state looked like a hair, until it went under further magnification, and she said "it did not look like human hair at a higher magnification."
Holden said that the fiber could have come from a wig, but added she could not say that it definitely came from a wig.
The state argued to each witness that there still could have been DNA or a hair from Dwight off a different part of the white T-shirt the samples were taken from.
Partain then took the stand and was questioned by the defense about why he didn't ask for a DNA test and why he didn't question certain witnesses further.
After about two hours of witness examinations, Judge Nation asked for a recess before the arguments, in which he did not question the lawyers not about the DNA, hair or fibers but instead about whether or not what he felt was the state's key witness could be impeached.
Nation said he is a 13th juror and it was his job to determine if a witness is credible, he then added "If I come to the conclusion that she's not, he is going to get a new trial."
Nation then sent the motion to recess at a date in which the defense and state could agree to.