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Man begins criminal defense in 1983 murder case

After 31 years, a man has been arrested and accused of being involved in a murder. Supposedly, upgrades in fingerprint database software were able to find a match to prints found at the 1983 crime scene. The man was arrested in his home state, but he is expected to be extradited to Texas within a week to begin his criminal defense.

Back in 1983, a San Antonio businessman was found stabbed to death in a hotel room in Denton. The 42-year-old businessman was supposedly stabbed around 35 times, all over his body. The investigators took DNA evidence from the victim's fingernails as well as in the hotel shower, and they also found fingerprints. The investigators also made a sketch of the possible suspect, but neither a suspect nor a murder weapon was discovered at that time.

In 2010, an officer reexamined the case and entered the DNA into a database, but the results only purportedly showed that an unidentified man was at the crime scene. In 2013, the prints were matched to the accused man due to "recent enhancements" in the database, but exactly how this process occurred is unclear. Now, the 53-year-old mechanic and father of two with no serious criminal history has been accused of murder.

When trying to reexamine a cold case such as this one, there is always the risk that some of the evidence collected so many years ago may no longer be viable. The man will likely want to take that into account when preparing his Texas criminal defense. He may also be able to use that fact to his advantage as he prepares to contend with the accusations that will be thrown at him in court. In the end, it is the burden of prosecutors to prove the man guilty, a task that is understandably complicated by the fact that more than three decades have passed since the incident occurred.

Source: twincities.com, "Fingerprints, DNA led to Lakeville man's arrest in Texas cold-case murder, charges say", Marino Eccher, Aug. 14, 2014

Source: twincities.com, "Fingerprints, DNA led to Lakeville man's arrest in Texas cold-case murder, charges say", Marino Eccher, Aug. 14, 2014

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