ASHEVILLE, N.C. - 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.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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