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Brestan Defense: Knife Lacks DNA Match In Murder Trial

Kyle Brestan
David Proeber
The Pantagraph (Pool)
Kyle Brestan is accused of stabbing 27-year-old Shannon Hastings more than 100 times. The victim was found in a west Bloomington hotel room.

Forensic test results in the Shannon Hastings murder investigation identified Kyle Brestan as a possible contributor to DNA collected from a bloody towel, according to testimony Friday in Brestan’s murder trial.

But testing on a folding knife, the weapon police believe Brestan used to stab Hastings more than 100 times, excluded him as a possible contributor to DNA collected by police, Illinois State Police forensic scientist Jennifer MacRitchie told the jury.

Hastings was found in a room at EconoLodge in Bloomington on May 21, 2017, with 105 stab wounds in her neck and upper body. Security video from a nearby business on West Market Street showed Brestan and the 27-year-old victim together in the early hours of May 16,2017. 

In her questioning of MacRitchie, defense lawyer Stephanie Wong emphasized test results to jurors that an unknown male DNA profile on the knife did not match Vincent or Brestan. 

In earlier testimony Friday, Brestan’s former roommates denied the suspect’s claim that he injured his hands helping them removed brush from a fallen tree.

Police asked the 35-year-old suspect about cuts to his hands when he was questioned six days after the victim’s estimated date of death. 

If convicted Brestan could be sentenced to life in prison. He faces a 36-year sentence imposed in November on unrelated child pornography charges. 

The state is expected to conclude its case Monday. Wong has not indicated if Brestan will testify during the defense case. 

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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