DNA In or Out of Serial Killer Case?

(Baton Rouge-AP) -- Defense lawyers for Derrick Todd Lee, the suspect in the killings of seven women in southern Louisiana, argued to a judge Thursday that DNA evidence should be thrown out of one murder case.

The defense lawyers told District Judge Richard Anderson of Baton Rouge that attorney general's investigators had obtained the DNA improperly. They said the investigators used a subpoena, but should have used a search warrant. The judge did not immediately rule.

The hearing was for Lee's first-degree murder trial in the 2002 slaying of Charlotte Murray Pace. In an unrelated motion, the issue of funding for Lee's defense could be sent to the Louisiana Supreme Court, possibly delaying a scheduled trial date of May 10th. East Baton Rouge Parish D.A. Doug Moreau has said he will decide quickly whether to appeal that ruling to the high court.

The First Circuit Court of Appeal ordered the trial judge to meet with defense lawyers to determine whether the state should pay for expert witnesses. But Moreau says he wanted to avoid any delay for Lee's trial in the Pace case.

Lee has pleaded innocent. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Police say Lee also has been linked by DNA to the slayings of six other women. He's also charged in an attack on a woman in Breaux Bridge.