Trial delayed in 1995 killing, disappearance
The trial continuance for Danny Ross Giles, 45, came as little surprise Friday. His public defenders earlier said it was unlikely they'd be ready to take the case in front of a jury on May 31 as scheduled. The trial has already been rescheduled twice.
Giles is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson alleges that genetic test results and other evidence connects Giles to the July 1995 stabbing death of Patti Berry and the May 1995 disappearance of Tracey Brazzel.
Giles has pleaded not guilty. He has been in the Snohomish County Jail on $4 million bail since the murder charges were filed in November. Prior to that, he was in the state's Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
King County prosecutors had petitioned to have Giles declared a sexually violent predator, a case that was dismissed pending the outcome of the criminal prosecution.
Giles' criminal record includes peeping and other offenses against women and girls, starting in his teens. He's repeatedly cycled in and out of prison.
He was convicted of raping a Lynnwood woman in a 1987 attack that began while she was in a tanning bed. More recently, the state's Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board decided public safety was best insured by Giles serving every day of a maximum six-year prison sentence after he exposed himself to two college-aged women near the University of Washington in 2005.
That decision came before Giles was publicly connected to either Snohomish County killing, records show.
Giles wasn't a suspect until about five years ago, when tests determined that it was his DNA allegedly mixed with Berry's on the steering wheel of the car she was driving the night of her killing.
The statistical probability of a random match to Giles was calculated at 1 in 580 million, according to court papers.
The connection to Brazzel came in 2010 after tests on the blood droplets found in 1995 on the outside of Brazzel's car were linked to GIles. The statistical probability of a random DNA match was calculated at 1 in 56 quadrillion.
The suspected links became public in May 2011 when Snohomish County sheriff's cold-case detectives filed search warrants to gather more genetic evidence.
Prosecutors say Giles has further been linked to Berry and Brazzel through his lifestyle. Detectives have tracked down witnesses who say Giles in 1995 frequented Kodiak Ron's, which was then located south of Everett at the intersection of Highway 99 and Airport Road.
According to police, Brazzel, 22, was last seen alive at the pub. Berry, 26, was spotted at a convenience store in the same block the night she was killed.
While Berry's body was found 17 years ago, no trace of Brazzel has surfaced. That's likely to be a big challenge in the case, as will questions about how evidence has been handled over the years. More than 10,000 pages of police reports and other records already have been collected in the case, and the investigation continues.
Scott North: 425-339-3431, email@example.com
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