Alexander Hill makes surprise court appearance, defense questions evidence

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - There are new questions about some of the evidence in the case against a man accused of killing four members of a Petersburg family. Alexander Hill made his first physical court appearance in a Virginia courtroom Monday. His attorney wants clarification of some key DNA reports.

The high profile deaths of a beloved family, including a young child, are still difficult for many in Petersburg to come to terms with. In his first physical appearance in a Virginia courtroom, suspect Alexander Hill wore a bullet-proof vest, surrounded by deputies throughout the hearing. Sources say snipers were even on hand.

"We don't know what will happen," Prosecutor Casandra Conover said. "We never know how somebody's going to act. We never know if someone will try to come to court to do something."

It comes as Hill's defense is raising questions about forensics reports NBC 12 obtained. One report suggests Alexander Hill is eliminated as a contributor to DNA collected from the stains of a knife used to kill the victims, but the analysis says Hill cannot be eliminated as a contributor to DNA found on a blood stained t-shirt.

Yet, there's another report that has Hill's defense confused, which suggests there actually is a DNA link between both the knife and t-shirt that could be matched to Hill or one of his male relatives. A judge agreed on Monday to postpone the suspect's preliminary hearing from later this week until November since his attorney suggested a medical expert should be present in court to explain the findings.

NBC 12 asked Conover if she was willing to move forward with the hearing without the DNA expert present. "Yes, but that's just a matter of procedure," she responded.

Hill's defense attorney says he may soon request a change of venue as the murder case unfolds in the months ahead.

"We're moving forward," Conover added.

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