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Marfa teens arrested in burglary-semen case

February 23rd, 2012 under Top Stories

MARFA – Two Marfa teen-agers were arrested at school last week in connection with a residential break-in last year in which semen became evidence in the case.

Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez said this week that the house was burglarized on two separate occasions.

“In the first, one juvenile was involved and in the second, two juveniles broke in,” Dominguez said.

Both teen-agers have been charged with one count of burglary of habitation, a second-degree felony, he said.

They were initially taken to a Midland juvenile detention center but were reunited with their parents on Wednesday, subject to certain restrictions, the sheriff said.

The burglaries to the home were first reported late last summer and early fall and in a matter of weeks, some six Marfa households had reported home invasions to the sheriff’s office. In four of those cases, residents had discovered light-colored stains left on personal items.

Dominguez said the stain matter was tested at a Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab and that only one sample tested positive for semen.

As to how the semen was linked in the case, the sheriff said, “Experience.” The Alpine-based Texas Ranger also assisted in the investigation.

Alpine attorney Mike Barclay, who is representing one of the teen-agers, said Wednesday that his client denies being the source of the semen.

The other break-ins remain open cases, Dominguez said.

Concerned about the rash of burglaries and reports that semen may have been left at several crime scenes, some Marfa residents circulated a petition with 100 signatures asking for the Texas Rangers to assist the sheriff’s office in the investigation. The petition was delivered to 83rd District Attorney Jesse Gonzales, Mayor Dan Dunlap and Dominguez.

Dominguez said that some crimes take longer to investigate than others and that it took some time for the crime lab to release its results.

“I’m glad that Sheriff Dominguez and the Texas Ranger were able to work together to solve this crime,” said Katherine Shaughnessy Michael, who helped circulate the petition. “I hope this encourages women of all ages that it’s right to speak up and report crimes of this nature to authorities. No one should ever have to tolerate such heinous invasions of privacy and personal security.”

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