A Rape, an Audit, and a Conviction

On June 10, 2013, a Buncombe County (North Carolina) Superior Court jury found a man guilty of rape, burglary, and assault in a case nearly 12 years old. The chain of events in between the assault and the conviction are worthy of note.

  • September 2001
    A UNC Asheville student is raped at knifepoint. An evidence rape kit is collected at a hospital and then waits in a backlog.
  • 2005
    DNA from the rape kit is entered into CODIS.
  • 2009
    Andrew Grady Davis is arrested and convicted of a drug charge in Oklahoma. His DNA matches the profile from the Asheville rape.
  • April 2010
    Davis is charged with rape and brought to Asheville.
  • April 2011
    A partial audit of the Asheville Police Department's evidence room - where the rape kit in question had been stored - finds guns, drugs, and money missing, leading to the resignation of the department's evidence-room manager and, later, the police chief. Davis, among others, is released from jail after his attorney argues that the questionable management of the evidence room may have compromised the integrity of the DNA evidence in his case.
  • 2012
    An independent contractor, Mike Wright of Blueline Systems & Services, is hired by the Asheville City Council to conduct a $175,000 audit of the evidence room. Write is quoted in the Carolina Public Press, "It quickly became apparent that, in some areas, a readily understandable and accurate system existed. In other areas, the section of shelving or evidence that we encountered had no understandable organization at all." However, the audit also finds the rape kit in the Davis case with seals intact. Davis' bond is restored.
  • June 2013
    Davis is convicted. District Attorney Ron Moore thanks Wright for the audit, and states, "We believe tis was a good case for a court to decide what if any effect the audit had on cases where there was evidence in the property room. I think the verdict demonstrates that most of the items over there were not affected by what went on in the property room."
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Item of Interest

The language barrier between English-speaking investigators and Spanish-speaking witnesses is a growing problem. (Updated 28 February 2011)