Expanded genetic testing plan endorsed

Authorities wouldn't need a court order to get a DNA sample from anyone convicted of a felony, under a bill approved Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

AB105, already approved in the Assembly, moved to the Senate floor for a final legislative test after the bill's author, Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, said the 2007 murder of Reno teenager Brianna Denison showed the importance of DNA testing.

Gansert said hundreds of convicted felons weren't getting DNA testing because a court order was required. James Biela was charged in the Denison case nearly a year after her murder. He was linked by DNA evidence to the crime.

Gansert also proposed that DNA be collected from people who are arrested for a felony, but told the Judiciary Committee that plan was dropped because it had a big fiscal impact. AB234 died on an April 10 deadline for action on legislative proposals.

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