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Forensic expert takes stand in O’side murder for hire killing trial

OCEANSIDE — DNA evidence taken from clothing and a weapon found less than a quarter mile from where Kenya Hunt was gunned down links the defendant to some of the items, a DNA analyst testified March 11 in a Vista courtroom.
Shelly Webster, a criminalist with the San Diego Sheriff’s crime lab, testified Dominic Jerome Porter was a possible contributor to DNA found on several pieces of clothing, including a pair of dark colored pants, a knit hat and a black T-shirt, as well as a revolver firearm. The items were located in the brush near a trail off of North Avenue, Webster said. The odds of a coincidental match relating to the firearm were as remote as 1 in 120,000, she testified.
Additionally, the DNA of another man charged in Hunt’s murder, Jonathan Johnson, was found to be included on several other clothing items found off the trail, Webster said.
Prosecutors allege Porter, 23, and Johnson, 22, murdered Hunt, a former minor league baseball player, outside his house in the 4600 block of Lofty Grove Drive around 10 a.m. March 22, 2007, and then changed their clothing as they ran on a network of trails through the East Oceanside neighborhood.
Two teens, who had been smoking marijuana on the trial, tipped off police minutes after seeing two suspicious men run by them and throw something in the bushes. One of the teens identified Porter in court as one of those men.
Johnson, who is being tried separately, told police Porter came to him and said he was getting $50,000 to kill Hunt and that he would give him half if he would be a lookout, authorities testified at the preliminary hearing. He said they sat in bushes outside Hunt’s house and when he came out Porter shot the victim point-blank, according to previous court testimony.
Both men are charged with a single count of murder in the first degree. And because investigators believe the two men waited in the bushes, a special circumstance allegation, lying in wait, is attached to the charge.
If convicted, Porter and Johnson face up to life in prison. Johnson’s trial is scheduled for May 12.
Hunt, an Oceanside High School graduate, spent time with the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants minor league ball clubs in the early 1990s. At the time of his death, the 34-year-old was the owner of a moving company.
Under cross-examination by Porter’s attorney, Kathleen Cannon, Webster said because Porter was only a possible contributor to the aforementioned articles of clothing and firearm, it is possible the DNA found on those items might not belong to him.
“He can’t be excluded, but we can’t say it was his positively,” Webster said.