Feds, defense turn to DNA in Kansas identity theft case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has postponed the trial of a man charged with assuming the identity of a dead Texas boy. The move gives the prosecution and defense time to obtain DNA that each side hopes will bolster their case.

DNA evidence has long been a mainstay in other criminal trials. But its use in an immigration-related identity theft case is unusual. Prosecutors want to compare Teodoro Erasmo Luna’s DNA to the sisters of the child he is accused of impersonating.

Pena is charged in a 17-count indictment with aggravated identity theft, misuse of a Social Security Card, lying on a passport application, and other crimes.

U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten says the DNA testing will help the parties reach a resolution.

The new trial date is March 24.


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