Controversial DNA Bill Passes Senate

Tuesday, April 19th 2016, 7:07 pm

A bill that would allow police to get a DNA sample from a suspect accused of committing a felony without first being convicted has passed in the state Senate.

For Maggie Zingman, of Tulsa, it’s a battle she's been fighting for eight years. 

Zingman's daughter, Brittany Phillips was raped and murdered back in 2004. She was buried on her 19th birthday. 

The killer still hasn't been caught.  

Zingman thinks this bill could put him behind bars. 

“This still doesn’t seem real,” Zingman said. “But it tells me that if you fight long and hard enough; I’ve been fighting 11 years to find her killer. Now, that this law has passed we may find her killer.”

Senator Clark Jolley (R) District 41 backed the bill. 

“This bill will save lives,” Jolley told lawmakers. “I made a mistake in voting ‘No’ on this years ago and I’m trying to rectify those sins today by voting and proposing that we do this.” 

Jolley said the cost to the state will be minimal because fees charged to suspects will pay for the DNA sampling.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation also backs the bill and said if it had passed two years ago hundreds of crimes including 14 murders and 25 sex crimes would have been prevented. 

They're ready to handle the influx of samples that will come with the bill. 

“Rough estimates that we’ve done of the number of samples that we would see with the passage of this bill, we do have the capacity, yes,” said OSBI Director of Criminalistics Andrea Swiech. “We are sitting, waiting for the samples to come in the door."

Swiech said there is no backlog of DNA texts at the lab at this time.

Zingman said she just hopes the bill's passage means no other parent will have to go through what she went through. 

“It’s about the worst loss you can go through,” Zingman said. "Because the loss of a child is the loss of expectations.”