User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : Man Convicted In 30-Year-Old Homicide Case
Posted by Randy on 2014/8/20 7:35:12 (814 reads) News by the same author

A nearly 30-year-old murder case will rest largely on DNA gathered at the home of the victim, Eleonora Knoernschild, and the reliability of that evidence, attorneys for the prosecution and defense told jurors Tuesday.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Knoernschild, 84, of the 1700 block of Sibley Street in St. Charles was found strangled and beaten in her home on Nov. 4, 1984, by her daughter, Doris Wines.

But no one was charged in the case until 2011. It was then that authorities said they linked the DNA to Brian McBenge, 52, and his brother, Cecil McBenge, 49. Both were charged with first-degree murder; Brian McBenge is currently on trial.

In opening arguments, Assistant Prosecutor Philip Groenweghe described the victim as being in ill health, requiring oxygen around the clock to sustain her 5-foot-1, 90-pound frame.

Knoernschild was a widow and lived alone in the modest home where she raised her family with her late husband, the former postmaster for St. Charles.

Wines, who at the time lived five houses from her mother, noticed signs of a break-in when she brought her mother’s newspaper to her door.

Knoernschild was discovered on the floor of her bedroom, with debris ransacked from drawers piled on top of her. She was beaten in the face, head and torso, suffering multiple fractured ribs. She was strangled with her bedspread, Groenweghe said.

“She was viciously, savagely, brutally murdered,” Groenweghe said.

Community outrage over Knoernschild’s killing spurred the founding of the St. Charles CrimeStoppers program.

McBenge’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, agreed that Knoernschild’s death was “an awful, awful homicide.”

But he said that the emotions felt by those working the terrible scene had led to mistakes.

Rosenblum said the DNA collected was contaminated by police who had no training in the proper techniques. Further, the silver nitrate used to dust for fingerprints back then could have led to a transfer of DNA, he said.

In addition, a lab that was used to process some of the evidence was not accredited, Rosenblum said, and was “a den of contamination.”

But Groenweghe said the profile for the DNA collected only matched one in 741,000 people. Further, McBenge had dated Knoernschild’s granddaughter and knew Knoernschild kept money hidden in a kitchen drawer in a baking powder can.

Evidence taken from a burglary at Knoernschild’s home four years before her murder included fingerprints on the refrigerator that matched McBenge and other similarities to the murder scene, Groenweghe said.

Rosenblum said the prints were easily explained away by McBenge’s relationship with Knoernschild’s granddaughter. The two often visited Knoernschild and sometimes ate there, he said.

The trial, in Circuit Judge Nancy Schneider’s courtroom, is expected to continue the rest of the week.

Cecil McBenge is scheduled to go on trial for the murder on Sept. 22.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article

Other articles
2015/11/25 14:20:00 - Police Seek Help Finding Grain Valley Fugitive
2015/11/25 12:30:05 - 11 Earthquakes Strike SE Missouri Overnight
2015/11/25 12:00:00 - Trenton Woman, Rescued In Monday Fire, Passes Away In Hospital
2015/11/25 11:14:43 - Mizzou Women Beat SIUE 75-46, Move to 5-0
2015/11/25 10:57:47 - Northwestern Holds Off Missouri 67-62 In CBE Classic
2015/11/25 10:50:00 - Lady Bulldogs Ride Richman's 22 Points To First Win Of Season
2015/11/25 10:36:32 - Gilman City Girls Open With Road Win Against Osborn
2015/11/25 10:26:54 - Chillicothe Routs Penney In Girls Season Opener
2015/11/25 10:20:00 - Princeton Splits Season Openers At North Harrison
2015/11/25 9:30:00 - Trenton Goes Overtime In Season-Opening Win Over East Buchanan
2015/11/25 8:56:26 - Mizzou Facing Image Crisis After Racial Issues, Upheaval
2015/11/25 8:26:05 - Two Charged With Murder After Man Found Dead Near Branson
2015/11/25 7:35:35 - North Central Missouri College Board of Trustees Meeting Report
2015/11/25 6:38:42 - Cameron Regional Medical Center Announces Awards Scholarships
2015/11/25 6:29:52 - 37th Annual Eagle Days at Squaw Creek Refuge To Be Held Dec. 5 & 6
2015/11/25 6:10:00 - Grundy County To Receive New Voting Equipment
2015/11/25 5:46:26 - Woman Identified In Monday Fire
2015/11/25 5:37:58 - Two Teens Injured, One Arrested In Accident Near Milan
2015/11/25 4:21:31 - Authorities Identify Victims, Alleged Shooter In Moberly Area Murder-Suicide
2015/11/25 4:18:02 - Grandfather Who Let 8-Year-Old Drive In Fatal Crash Had DUI, Drug History
2015/11/25 4:08:39 - A Rainy Thanksgiving And Potentially Slick Black Friday Morning For Missouri
2015/11/25 3:57:16 - Livingston County Sheriff Investigation Results In Conviction
2015/11/25 3:49:18 - I-29 Traffic Stop Nets 60 Pounds Of Marijuana
2015/11/24 15:28:17 - NCMC Men Fall To .500 With Hard Fought Road Loss
2015/11/24 15:21:45 - Grundy R-5 Swept In Basketball Season Openers
2015/11/24 15:19:17 - Kansas State Blows Out Missouri 66-42 In CBE Classic Semis
2015/11/24 15:15:14 - Cunningham Repeats As SEC Freshman Of The Week
2015/11/24 15:13:38 - Trenton JV Girls Drill Cameron, 37-9
2015/11/24 10:25:04 - NCMC Lady Pirates Limp Into Thanksgiving On Three-Game Skid
2015/11/24 9:30:00 - Mizzou Basketball Will Play In Puerto Rico In November '16

Bookmark this article at these sites


Listen to KTTN-FM