Prosecution rests in Suisun City murder trial

By From page A3 | March 10, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Prosecutors saved their strongest evidence to the end before wrapping up their case Friday against a Fairfield man accused of killing his ex-wife in her Suisun City apartment in January 2008.

Miguel Pantoja, 45, is accused of fatally stabbing Adriana Pantoja, 33, at her Coral Lane home in Suisun City.

Prosecutor Karen Jensen brought a DNA expert to the witness stand. State Department of Justice DNA expert Shawn Kaser testified that a minute piece of flesh found under a fingernail of Adriana Pantoja contained DNA that matched the DNA of Miguel Pantoja.

Kaser also testified that the DNA detected in small blood stains on the upholstery of a seat in Pantoja’s pickup truck matched Adriana Pantoja’s DNA.

Kaser estimated the likelihood of someone else other than Miguel Pantoja having DNA matching the DNA found under the fingernail at  least 1 in 26 quintillion. Kaser then estimated the likelihood of someone else other than Adriana Pantoja having DNA matching the DNA found in the blood-stained upholstery at least 1 in 750 quintillion.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the current world population to be slightly around 7 billion people.

The couple had been involved in a protracted divorce case and Miguel Pantoja had been previously jailed for assaulting Adriana Pantoja. She had obtained several restraining orders against him in the months leading up to her killing. She allowed the last court order to lapse a few months before her death, according to court records.

Pantoja’s attorney, Robert Warshawsky, is expected to begin presentation of his defense case when the trial resumes Tuesday.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or at [email protected]

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

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