A federal appeals court judge has not ruled whether a paragraph in an FBI affidavit in connection with charges against Caleb Daniel Hughes in the Melissa Brannen abduction case should be made public. A Metro story yesterday incorrectly reported the court action. (Published 12/19/90)

A Fairfax County prosecutor told a judge yesterday that Caleb Daniel Hughes, charged with the abduction of 5-year-old Melissa Brannen, took a lie detector test after the child disappeared last Dec. 3.

Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said after the hearing that he would not comment on the results of the test. Hughes's lawyer, Peter D. Greenspun, also refused to comment on the test, and became angry and cursed Horan when reporters told him that the prosecutor had confirmed that Hughes had taken the test.

"I've not seen the results," Greenspun said. "Polygraphs are voodoo, good or bad. Whatever the results, they are absolutely inadmissible." In Virginia courts, polygraph results are admissible only if the defense agrees and the judge allows it.

Greenspun urged the media not to report that Hughes took the test because he said it might prejudice potential jurors in Hughes's trial and require moving the trial to another location.

Horan's mention of the lie detector test during a court hearing yesterday is the latest piece of information made public about the investigation into whether Hughes was involved in Melissa's disappearance, an event that riveted the Washington area public for months. Horan has said that the case will be mainly circumstantial and based on scientific evidence.

Hughes, 24, was indicted Nov. 19 on a charge of abduction with intent to defile, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. He is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 28 in Fairfax Circuit Court.

A federal affidavit, released last month, revealed that traces of evidence consistent with human blood were found on tennis shoes worn by Hughes the night Melissa disappeared. Tests determined that several pieces had been cut out of the shoes, the affidavit said. Blood stains also were discovered in his car, but the affidavit contained no conclusion about whose blood it was.

A federal appeals court judge ruled Dec. 4 that if a paragraph in the affidavit that remains sealed was released to the media, Hughes would have difficulty receiving a fair trial in Fairfax. During the hearing before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Greenspun argued that the withheld passage contained "an overwhelmingly specific piece of information that is inadmissible at trial and would absolutely prejudice a jury."

Yesterday's hearing, in which the defense requested evidence the state has in connection with Hughes, revealed further clues to the prosecution's case.

Horan said the FBI had scientific reports including fingerprints, hair and fibers and a DNA report.

At one point in the hearing, the judge asked Horan whether he knew what was in the fibers report. Horan responded, "It doesn't show {Hughes} is innocent."

Greenspun asked the judge to order Horan to turn over all computer analyses, printouts, any scientific evidence and the DNA report. Circuit Court Judge Johanna L. Fitzpatrick ordered Horan to provide Greenspun with final and preliminary reports and said that as much evidence as possible should be turned over by Friday.

Greenspun said that before Horan's remarks, he had been careful during court arguments not to mention lie detector testing. He said in court only that he knew Hughes had been questioned by Fairfax Investigator Richard Daniele. Daniele is a polygraph examiner with the Fairfax County Police Department.