Michael Allan Carbo, Jr. was arrested on July 29, 2020 and charged in the July 16, 1986 murder of 38-year-old Nancy Jane Daugherty in Chisholm, Minnesota. Daugherty had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death in her bed. Neighbours had heard a struggle and cries for help around 3.30 am that morning.
DNA from the suspect was collected from a sexual assault kit as well as from scrapings from the victim’s fingernails. The FGG investigation was conducted by Parabon Nanolabs. Confirmation was made through police surveillance and the surreptitious sampling of items that Carbo had discarded in his trash. The suspect then agreed to voluntarily provide a DNA sample to investigators. Carbo may have been an acquaintance of Daugherty, as he had attended school with her children.
Before the case was cleared, police had collected DNA samples from over 100 suspects, all of whom were eliminated.
Carbo pled not guilty to charges of second-degree murder in her death and his case is pending in St. Louis County District Court. The case was delayed due to pre-trial motions by the defence seeking additional disclosure from Parabon.
On May 31, 2021, Judge Robert Findlay of the State District Court denied the defence motion for disclosure from Parabon concerning Carbo’s identification as a person of interest in Daugherty’s murder. The court found that several of items requested by the defence did not speak to guilt or innocence, including Parabon’s standard operating procedures, case notes, communications, database searches, and the family trees of all persons identified as suspects. The court found that it was not this information that led to the arrest of the defendant, but the fact that police later matched his DNA to that recovered from the victim’s sexual assault kit and from under her fingernails.
On November 10, 2021, Judge Robert Friday denied the defence motion to suppress the DNA evidence. He reiterated that a defendant retains no privacy interest in DNA left at a crime scene. He also rejected the notion that a family member could have an ownership interest in, or veto, another person’s use of their DNA or genetic information.
As reported by Olsen, “Simply put, defendant does not have standing to challenge the expectation of privacy of a third party’s genetic material, even when it is in common with his own,” Friday said. “There is no allegation that any of the profiles which contained common DNA with defendant were obtained without consent, making this no different than concluding a search is valid when two people reside in a home together and only one gives consent to law enforcement to search the home.”
After the above ruling, a Grand Jury in Hibbing, St. Louis County, indicted Carbo, on April 11, 2022, for first-degree murder in Daugherty’s killing. On August 16, 2022, a jury convicted Carbo on two counts of first-degree murder in the commission of a sexual assault. On September 30, 2022, he received an automatic sentence of life in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 17 years.
Carbo admitted that the semen found at the crime scene was his, and that he had consensual sex with Daugherty but that she was murdered by a different person. His lawyers stated that they intent to appeal the verdict. The appeal, case number A22-1823, was filed in the Minnesota Court of Appeals on December 27, 2022, but has yet to be heard.
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Olsen, Tom. “Carbo Gets Life Sentence for 1986 Chisholm Murder; Closure Remains Elusive for Daugherty’s Family.” Duluth News Tribune, September 30, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/local/carbo-gets-life-sentence-for-1986-chisholm-murder-closure-remains-elusive-for-daughertys-family.
Olsen, Tom. “Defendant in 1986 Chisholm Killing Not Entitled to DNA Database Details, Judge Rules.” Duluth News Tribune, May 31, 2021. Accessed June 7, 2021. https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/crime-and-courts/7047661-Defendant-in-1986-Chisholm-killing-not-entitled-to-DNA-database-details-judge-rules.
Olsen, Tom. “Judge Affirms DNA Database Searches That Led to Arrest in 1986 Chisholm Slaying.” Duluth News Tribune, November 14, 2021. Accessed November 18, 2021. https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/crime-and-courts/7281293-Judge-affirms-DNA-database-searches-that-led-to-arrest-in-1986-Chisholm-slaying
Olsen, Tom. “Iron Range Man Charged in Unsolved 1986 Homicide, but Connection to Victim Unclear.” Twin Cities Pioneer Press, July 30, 2020. Accessed December 12, 2020. https://www.twincities.com/2020/07/30/iron-range-man-charged-in-unsolved-1986-homicide-but-connection-to-victim-unclear/.
Olsen, Tom. “Minnesota Cold-Case Suspect Alleges Constitutional Violations in DNA Database Search.” Park Rapids Enterprise, July 1, 2021. Accessed July 10, 2021. https://www.parkrapidsenterprise.com/news/crime-and-courts/7096731-Minnesota-cold-case-suspect-alleges-constitutional-violations-in-DNA-database-search.
Olsen, Tom. “Suspect Indicted on First-Degree Murder Charges in 1986 Chisholm Slaying.” Duluth News Tribune, April 14, 2022. Accessed April 15, 2022. https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/local/suspect-indicted-on-first-degree-murder-charges-in-1986-chisholm-slaying.
State of Minnesota, Respondent vs. Michael Allan Carbo Jr., Appellant, Case No. A22-1823, Minnesota Courtney Appeals, December 27, 2022. Accessed February 7, 2023. https://macsnc.courts.state.mn.us/ctrack/view/publicCaseMaintenance.do?csNameID=101210&csInstanceID=116875.