North Carolina's State Crime Laboratory has fewer people and less money than it did in previous years, leaving prosecutors and defendants waiting a year or more for results.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported (avlne.ws/NyJKP5) that lab director Joseph R. John Sr. says that an increase in evidence submitted for testing also has led to long wait times for analysis. The lab's budget is $13.3 million, down from $13.6 million. Since 2009-10, the crime lab staff has decreased to 124 from 130.
In western North Carolina, driving-while-impaired cases are being continued while prosecutors wait for test results. Earlier this month in Haywood County, prosecutors dismissed a DWI case.
Prosecutors waited six months for the test results and another eight trying to get the former analyst who performed the test to testify.
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