DNA, Cigarette butt, Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man tripped up by his own DNA on a cigarette butt has lost an appeal of a breaking-and-entering conviction in western Michigan.

Steven Merchant Jr. was accused of breaking into storage units in Grand Rapids. The missing property included a watch that was given to a woman for her retirement.

The big break for police was a cigarette butt found at the scene. Tests showed DNA on the cigarette belonged to Merchant. Investigators later recovered the watch from a relative’s shed.

The appeals court on Thursday found no errors in the case and affirmed Merchant’s conviction and six-year prison sentence.

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