John A. Byrd named new director of State Crime Lab

05/28/2014 1:21 PM

02/15/2015 11:23 AM

After a national search, the NC Attorney General Roy Cooper has found a director for the State Crime Lab in his own back yard.

Cooper’s office announced Wednesday that John A. Byrd, a forensic scientist manager at the lab, will take over the position, starting June 2.

“I expect John Byrd to make sure that North Carolina’s Crime Lab continues to meet the highest standards and use the latest science to pinpoint criminals and clear suspects,” Cooper said in a statement.

Byrd has 20 years of experience in forensic biology (that’s DNA analysis ), latent evidence (fingerprints, tire tracks, etc.) and digital evidence (computers, cell phones, audio, and video), according to the AG’s office.

The State Crime Lab is based in Raleigh with satellite offices in Asheville and Greensboro that analyze crime scene evidence including digital evidence, drugs, DNA, firearms, fingerprints, hair and fibers.

Byrd will oversee 124 analysts. He succeeds Joseph R. John, a retired appellate and trial court judge who served as acting and then permanent director of the Crime Lab for 3 1/2 years.

Byrd, who lives in Holly Springs, is an Army Brigadier General in the North Carolina National Guard who currently serves as Assistant Adjutant General of the North Carolina National Guard. He graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor of Science in biology, and a master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College.

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