Court Report

by journojames on February 3, 2012

Originally published Feb. 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA – A forensics expert testified Thursday that the DNA of a British national accused of fatally stabbing a drug dealer and his girlfriend was found at the Los Angeles condominium where the killings took place.

Robin Cook, Photo courtesy of

But Robin Cotton, Director of Biomedical Forensic Sciences at Boston University, also acknowledged under cross-examination that authorities couldn’t identify all of the DNA found at the crime scene.

Some quantities of the DNA were too small and the computers used at Cellmark Laboratory were not able confirm the identities of who the genetic materials belonged to, said Cotton, Cellmark’s laboratory director from 1994 to 2006.

“What Dr. Cotton’s testimony showed was that there is DNA evidence showing unknown persons where some of the largest crime scenes are in the apartment,” said defense attorney Amy Jacks.

Neil Revill, 38, sat silently listening to Cotton’s testimony in the downtown courtroom where he is on trial for the murder of his one-time friend Artin Davodian and Kimberly Crayton. Davodian was stabbed 17 times and his head severed in the Oct. 11, 2001 assault. Crayton was also stabbed to death. Davodian and Crayton’s baby, Kaylee, who was 14 months at the time and in the apartment during the assaults, survived unharmed.

Neil Revill, Photo courtesy of the "Northern Echo"

“Mr. Revill was a paranoid crystal meth user who thought Arthur (Artin) snitched him out to cops,” said Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Phil Stirling.

According to the prosecution, Revill was the last person to be seen with the couple.

According to the defense, there were no eyewitnesses, no confession, and the murder weapon was never found.

Revill faces life sentences without the possibility of parole if found guilty of the murders. He was arrested on Nov. 22, 2001 for an alleged assault with a knife; a separate incident from the October assaults. He has been in prison since then awaiting trial.

According to the District Attorney’s office, it took 10 years for the case to get to court due to the numerous changes with Revill’s defense attorneys. The death penalty sentence was dropped after the L.A. Public Defender office and London-based human rights groups successfully filed petition to spare Revill’s life.

L.A. courtroom, Photo courtesy of Norma G.

The trial started at the beginning of February and is expected to last at least two more weeks, according to defense attorneys.

The parents of Kimberly Crayton and the brother of Artin Davodian were among the small group of people who listened to the morning’s testimony in Judge Larry Paul Fidler’s courtroom.

“This has taken so long,” said Kimberly Crayton’s mother, who did not want to give her name. “This whole thing has been horrible. A nightmare. The last thing you want to do is wrongly accuse anyone of anything. But, in this case, I don’t think we’re wrong. We’re just trying to get justice, but it doesn’t make things any better. You just have to live with it.”

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