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Prosecutors Seek New DNA Sample from Sanchez

Pool photo/ Harry Scull, Buffalo News
Accused Bike Path Killer Altemio Sanchez (left) and his Attorney Andrew LoTempio,

By Eileen Buckley


Buffalo, NY – Erie County prosecutors want another DNA sample from the accused bike path killer.

Altemio Sanchez of Cheektowaga was arraigned on more murder charges Tuesday. He entered a not guilty plea to two counts of intentional murder and one count of felony murder. Sanchez is accused of murdering UB student Linda Yalem in 1990 and Majane Mazur of Buffalo in 1992.

Sanchez made his third court appearance since his arrest last week. This time, he was dressed in a suit and tie. Prosecutors say DNA evidence links Sanchez to the murders of Yalem and Mazur as well as rapes that date back to the early 1980s. Investigators obtained DNA samples from a Williamsville restaurant where Sanchez dined January 13th. But now Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark says they are seeking a new DNA sample from Sanchez. That type of sample is taken from the inside of a person's check. The DA wants to make sure prosecutors have a pristine swab from the suspect.

Sanchez's attorney Andrew LoTempio says he wants prosecutors to provide him with DNA samples from the crime scenes in return for a new sample from his client. That will be argued Monday morning in court.

Outside the courtroom, LoTempio told reporters he believes police are leaking too much information to the news media about the case, hurting Sanchez's chance for a fair trial.

But Clark says he is not aware of any false information that has been reported. He says he is not sure what leaks LoTempio is referring to. LoTempio has requested a change of venue.

Meanwhile, Sanchez's wife appeared for her husband's arraignment even though LoTempio has advised against it. He says people continue to hang out in front of her home and follow her in and out of court.

Sanchez continues to deny the charges.

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