Woman's conviction tossed in 'junk science' bite mark case

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A judge has overturned a Pennsylvania woman's conviction and sentence in a 2001 beating death after the bite mark expert who testified against her called his findings "junk science."

A Fayette County judge issued that decision Thursday in the case of 38-year-old Crystal Dawn Weimer, of Connellsville. She had been sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison.

Weimer was convicted of third-degree murder in 2006 after a man imprisoned in the slaying of Curtis Haith testified that Weimer lured Haith there. Dr. Constantine Karazulas also testified that a bite on the victim's hand matched Weimer.

The witness has since recanted, and the dentist says he's changed his mind, too. Karazulas now says bite mark evidence can be used only to rule out suspects, not to conclusively match them.