Aaron Layton’s signature is on thousands of lab reports. The Riverside County District Attorney is currently looking into if he falsified these reports.
“The employee Layton at Bio-Tox may have some problems in his background related to credibility which immediately bring his work at Bio-Tox into question,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Sue Steding.
Layton was an employee at the Riverside-based Bio-Tox. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and several police departments contracted the company to conduct urine and blood work.
A letter from District Attorney Rod Pacheco outlined the lab tech’s troubled past before he came to Riverside County.
Layton admitted he falisifed his reports “hundreds of times” when he worked at Forensic Laboratories in Colorado in 2001.
He also confessed to forgery, stealing from other employees, and to molesting a 13-year-old boy.
So, his credibility as a lab tech and a witness is under serious scrutiny.
The D.A.’s office is investigating thousand of cases throughout Riverside County. The District Attorney’s office has also filed a protective order to keep Layton’s work history and criminal background a secret.
“We need to disclose the information but we want to be careful about what we can and cannot disclose,” said Steding.
The District Attorney’s Office is concerned and so is defense attorney Susanne Cho.
Cho says the D.A.’s Office did not disclose the details of the protective order until after some attorney’s signed it.
“It really sheds an uncertainty about the integrity of the whole process,” Cho said.
The District Attorney’s Office says Bio-Tox will pay for any retesting and will likely use a different lab tech for any retrials.
But that might not satisfy some defense attorneys.
“[Layton] could be responsible for tampering it so the reliability of the second test is in question by the very fact that he touched it,” Cho said.
The District Attorney is still gathering a list of potential cases.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys like Cho are pushing to get those findings released to them.