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Saline County judge to decide on DNA testing

SALINA, Kan. (AP) -- A Saline County district court judge said he will decide as soon as possible on what DNA testing, if any, will be allowed in the case of a man convicted of raping and killing a woman in 1982.

Judge Patrick Thompson said Tuesday he'll decide soon about the DNA testing in the case of Robert H. Lackey II, who was convicted in 2002 of first-degree murder and rape in the death of 22-year-old Sara Ann Brecheisen.

Brecheisen, a college student who volunteered at a Salina shelter where Lackey lived and worked, was found dead in a closet in her mobile home by her boyfriend on Dec. 18, 1982. The case was unsolved until the Kansas Bureau of Investigation located Lackey in Alabama in 2002.

The Kansas Supreme Court sent Lackey's case back to the district court in 2012 for a hearing on whether Lackey should be granted DNA testing on hairs found on Brecheisen's body, The Salina Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1hXdRTc ). The hairs did not appear to be Brecheisen's, according to court records.

Thompson said he will also consider whether new testing procedures should be completed on other items of evidence from the case, even though the case was not sent back for that additional testing.

Saline County Attorney Ellen Mitchell objected to expanding DNA testing beyond the hairs, saying the court lacked jurisdiction.