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Cold case investigation results in Denton murder arrest

Just northwest of Dallas, police say they recently solved a 31-year-old cold case. Denton police sent officers with the Texas Rangers to Minnesota to help arrest a man there accused in a 1983 Denton homicide.

The 53-year-old has been quietly living in suburban Minneapolis for decades, police said. He was taken into custody in Lakeville, where he owns a home and has a wife and two children. 

According to a statement of probable cause filed in Minnesota, the suspect stabbed a man 35 times at the Denton Holiday Inn on Dallas Drive. He’s accused of then driving to Oklahoma in the victim’s car.

According to the probable cause document, the man was stabbed in the chest, neck, face, back and hands. No motive was described.

At the time of the death, police took fingerprints and blood evidence from the murder scene, but no match was found. However, four years ago a cold-case investigator sent the evidence for retesting at a Fort Worth lab.

Three years ago, the lab said it found a previously unknown “contributor” to a blood stain found in the Holiday Inn’s shower. Then last year the lab said it was able to match a fingerprint from the scene to the Minnesota man.

Lakeville law enforcement officials then sifted through the man’s trash to find a DNA sample, which was then apparently matched to the DNA in the blood stain.   

The suspect is currently in custody in Minnesota, but authorities expect him to be extradited to Texas next week.

Those who face these kinds of charges and this kind of evidence need an attorney experienced not only at trial, but also in detailed investigation and aggressive negotiation.  

Source: dallas.culturemap.com, "Denton police make cross-country arrest in unsolved murder from 1983," Claire St. Amant, August 14, 2014

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