A forensic scientist whose testimony helped wrongfully convict two men of murder in Oregon has been working for the Washington State Patrol crime lab since the case unraveled nine years ago, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Forensic scientist Charles Vaughan, was hired by Washington State in July 1995, eight months after a judge freed Chris Boots and Eric Proctor from prison. The men spent eight years behind bars for an execution-style slaying of a convenience store clerk that they didn’t commit. Vaughan’s testimony about forensic analysis of blood and gunpowder provided key physical evidence linking the pair to the crime.
Vaughan, 63, maintains that his work “was valid, fair and comprehensive.” His role in the high-profile Oregon case is a surprise to Washington crime-lab officials. Asked if the lab expected an applicant to come clean about such a controversy, the director said, “That’s not the kind of thing people will volunteer in an interview.”