DENVER (CBS4)– The Denver District Attorney is celebrating Colorado’s 500th “hit” and the way the 2010 law has changed prosecuting criminals.
Katie’s Law took effect in Colorado five years ago and requires biological samples to be taken from all the adults arrested for new felony offenses.
The 500th hit resulted in a filed case in which Michael Hosier was identified as a suspect in a December 2014 burglary after his DNA was found at the scene. Hosier was formally charged on Tuesday with 2nd degree burglary and theft. The charges allege that he and two others broke into an office and stole several computers.
“Katie’s Law is working just as we had hoped; we are solving cases that have no other leads and would otherwise remain unsolved, and we are catching criminals before they have a chance to victimize people again,” Denver DA Mitch Morrissey said in a statement.
Under the provisions of Katie’s Law, biological samples are taken from adults arrested for felony offenses and are put into the CODIS database if and when felony charges are filed.
Of the 500 DNA hits in the last five yeras, 21 are linked to homicides, 73 to sex assaults, 177 to burglaries, 54 to robberies, 14 to arson, 29 to assaults and 122 to property crimes.
Not every hit results in a solved crime but about 35 percent of the CODIS hits in Denver have resulted in cases being filed by the Denver DA’s office.
Katie’s Law was sponsored in the Colorado General Assembly by then-Senator John Morse who said in a statement the bill was a highlight for him, “As a former police chief I know that you catch a criminal for one crime but they may have committed 50 others. Katie’s Law gives us a clearer picture and the ability to connect those cases.”
The measure passed with help from Jayann Sepich, whose daughter Katie is the measure’s namesake.
Sepich was pleased to hear of the 500th hit, saying in a statement, “The most important thing to me is that it’s working, and 500 hits within five years is a sign that it is working very well.”