Victim's DNA found in murder suspect's car, home

MINDEN -- A DNA expert testified Wednesday that blood found in five locations of Christopher Fiegehen's car and in the sink of his Carson City home belonged to murder victim Al Chorkey.

Fiegehen, 24, is accused of the Feb. 10, 2002, slaying of Chorkey and shooting of his wife, Lorelle, in the couple's Johnson Lane-area home.

He allegedly went to the home about 5 a.m. after fighting with Lorelle Chorkey's daughter, Alane Dockstader, 19, his estranged girlfriend.

Following a short presentation in which Jeffrey Roland of the Washoe County Crime Lab gave jurors a lesson in the science of DNA, Rolands said Chorkey's DNA was on the driver's door arm rest, back edge of the driver's window, gear shift knob and the underside of the exterior driver's door handle.

He said of four swabs taken from the sink of Fiegehen's Ramsey Circle home, three were unreadable and one appeared to be Al Chorkey's DNA, with a certainty of 1 in 9,022.

Roland also revealed Fiegehen's DNA was found on a hat discovered underneath Chorkey, who lay mortally wounded on the deck of his home, saying the certainty of it being Fiegehen's DNA was one in 50 billion.

Chorkey's DNA was found on the handle and blade of the Harley-Davidson knife the prosecutor believes Fiegehen used to kill Chorkey.

On the handle, Rolands said, a mixed DNA sample was found with Chorkey as the major profile and Fiegehen contributing to the mix.

"I was able to determine that Christopher Fiegehen cannot be excluded as a contributor to that mixed DNA profile," Rolands testified.

On cross examination by defense attorney Richard Young, Rolands admitted there was a third unidentifiable DNA profile also found on the knife, two additional profiles found on the gear-shift knob and Fiegehen's DNA was the the only profile found on the steering wheel, despite that fact that a friend of his was driving it the day of the murder.

Young also pounded away at points investigators failed to examine through DNA testing.

"You're aware investigators took into custody a light-blue pickup truck," Young said, alluding to expected testimony in which a friend of Fiegehen's will testify she loaned him her truck early Feb. 10, 2002, and she in turn drove his Mustang to Lake Tahoe. The truck was recovered in Truckee Feb. 15, 2002.

"No, I wasn't aware of that," Rolands replied.

"You did no DNA testing on the pickup, correct?" Young asked, to which Roland agreed.

He also questioned why DNA testing wasn't done on fingernail clippings taken from Chorkey during the autopsy.

"Are you aware that this was a fight to the death at the Chorkey house and yet you nor anyone else asked for DNA analysis?" Young asked.

Also testifying was the owner of Totally Boards Snowboard Shop in Truckee. Marc Mickey told the jury Fiegehen came into his shop about 8 a.m. Feb. 10, 2002, and sold about $600 in snowboard equipment for $300.

"Did the defendant tell you why he was selling the equipment?" asked Douglas County Deputy District Attorney Mark Jackson.

"He said he needed to get to Sacramento because his father was dying," Mickey said.

Fiegehen's father, Carson City businessman Al Fiegehen, is part owner of the Ormsby House, Glen Eagles Restaurant and Cubix Corp.

Mickey said he wrote a check to Fiegehen in the name of Alan Chorkey, and once Fiegehen left he discovered he'd traded a beanie cap he was wearing for a baseball cap.

Mickey said Fiegehen was a "pretty normal guy" during their brief exchange.

"He just seemed like any other customer that would come in and sell us things," he said.

Testimony will continue today. There will be no court session Friday in observance of the July 4 holiday.

Fiegehen is charged with murder with the use of a deadly weapon, attempted murder with the use of a firearm, burglary and home invasion. If convicted he faces life in prison. He remains in the Douglas County Jail without bail.


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