DNA Solves L.A. Rapes; Wrong Man Served 11 Years

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In 1992, Los Angeles police detectives suspected that a serial killer was stalking prostitutes in South Los Angeles. With no witnesses or clues, they searched for suspects in reports of recent sexual crimes and found David Allen Jones, says the Los Angeles Times. Jones was in jail, charged with the attempted rape of a prostitute near the school. Jones, a barely literate part-time janitor described by a psychiatrist as having the mental capacity of an 8-year-old, waived his right to a lawyer and was interrogated by police three times over two days. He repeatedly denied killing the women, but under detectives’ prodding admitted to having sex and smoking crack cocaine with the victims at places where their bodies were found.

Jones was convicted in 1995 of killing three women; in fact, he killed none of them. Police announced Saturday that DNA evidence has conclusively linked convicted rapist Chester Dewayne Turner, 37, to the deaths of 12 women, including two that Jones had been convicted of killing. Jones, 44, was incarcerated for more than 11 years before being released in March, and has filed a damage claim against the city. Authorities have yet to explain their actions in getting an innocent man convicted. A review of transcripts of two interrogations, court hearings ,and his trial shows that the case was based on the inconsistent statements of a man who was found to have an IQ of 60 to 73 and cannot read words longer than four letters.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-serial25oct25,1,5918949.story?coll=la-home-headlines

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