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Man charged with murder in 27-year-old Minnesota cold case

A 56-year-old man admitted to investigators that he stabbed a 20-year-old woman to death in her south Minneapolis apartment on Dec. 19, 1991. A bloody washcloth recovered from the crime scene provided a DNA sample that allowed the Minneapolis Police Department and the FBI to identify a suspect, who had been a friend of the victim's boyfriend at the time.

The murder case had gone cold until 2008 when investigators sent the washcloth for newly available DNA testing. According to the criminal complaint filed by the Hennepin County attorney's office, the DNA analysis concluded that the blood likely included the suspect's DNA. The test ruled out 99.1 percent of the population.

When detectives approached the man with the information, he said that he had cut his hand at the woman's apartment while working on a vehicle. During a subsequent interview, he admitted to the killing. He said that he stabbed her to death because her boyfriend had told him not to enter the apartment unless he was home. The suspect said that he had been looking for drugs and did not want the woman to tell her boyfriend that he had been in the home. Because of his confession and the DNA evidence, he now faces charges of second-degree murder and remains in jail awaiting his court appearance.

A person confronted by accusations of violent crimes like homicide has a right to consult a lawyer before answering questions. A lawyer may offer advice that helps protect the person's rights. A lawyer's insights might also help the person evaluate the choice between going to trial or seeking a plea deal. In either situation, a lawyer may strive to shield the person from the harshest penalties.

Source: The Tribune, "Minnesota man charged in fatal stabbing of woman in 1991", Dec. 20, 2018

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