Calvin Luarca

Crime Lab Forensic Analyst Finds 3rd DNA Profile on Knife

Vancouver, WA ~

On Monday, jury members were selected in the trial of a Portland man who was stabbed by his girlfriend in Vancouver, WA. Calvin Luarca has been held in the Clark County Jail since November 18 on $100,000 bail after his girlfriend, Zonnisha Meyer, stabbed him in the abdomen with a kitchen knife. Luarca’s life-threatening wound, a severed artery, was surgically repaired by doctors at Peace Health Medical Center. Within hours of his surgery, Luarca was arrested by Vancouver Police based on statements made by Meyer.

Alleged victim, Zonnisha Meyer was also treated for a self-inflicted cut on her left hand that occurred while she was wielding the knife. According to police reports and testimony, Meyer accidentally cut herself with the knife early during the November 18th incident, then later “she stabbed him one time in the side/abdomen” (from Probable Cause statement written by Detective Sandra Aldridge).

On Tuesday of trial, Washington State Patrol Crime Lab Forensic Scientist, Trevor Chowen, provided expert witness testimony regarding the blood samples taken from the knife and crime scene.  Chowen stated the tip of the blade contained a DNA mixture from 3 individuals. His analysis revealed that Zonnisha Meyer was the “dominant contributor of the blood stain” on the blade. The remaining components were found to be too low to make a reliable profile of the other 2 individuals.

Chowen also testified that the DNA profiles found on the handle of the knife originated from 2 individuals. The dominant DNA profile was again that of Zonnisha Meyer, the other DNA profile was concluded to be a mixture from Meyer and Luarca, with the “minor component of the 2nd contributor to be from Calvin Luarca.”

When asked on cross examination, Chowen said, “I was unable to determine if the knife had been wiped down.” He also stated that he found trace finger prints and was unable to determine whose prints they were.”

Chowen testified that of the 7 blood samples that were taken from the crime scene, only 1 of the samples contained DNA from Luarca, and it was the minor component found on the handle of the knife.

According to her court testimony, Zonnisha Meyer admitted to stabbing Luarca with a kitchen knife after he allegedly hit her on top of the head and then attempted to strangle her. None of the police or doctors that examined her identified any bruising, scratching or other identifiable marks to indicate she had been assaulted.

Meyer testified that she feared for her life when she opened the door for Luarca with a knife in her hand around 10:30 on the morning of Saturday, November 18th. She also admitted that he had been invited to her duplex the night before and the two had been intimate just 12 hours prior to the Saturday visit.

When asked by defense attorney David Kurtz, “Prior to the incident, has Calvin Luarca ever struck or harmed you or your son?” Meyer said, “No. Never.”

When asked, “Has Mr. Luarca ever bought things for your new residence?” Meyer replied, “Yes, at Ikea.”

When asked, “Did he buy the knife you stabbed him with?” Meyer said, “Yes.”

Both sides rested their cases today. Closing arguments are set for tomorrow morning with jury deliberation to follow.

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