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Man charged in two decade-old homicides

Posted January 19, 2009

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— Police on Monday charged a Raleigh man in two slayings that occurred more than 10 years ago.

Lontren Lawrence Walker, 34, was charged with two counts of murder in the 1997 death of Patricia Ann Harris and the 1998 death of Cleaster Prim. Both victims had been strangled, police said.

Harris, 26, was found dead behind a building at 1000 E. Martin St. on Oct. 17, 1997, police said. Prim, 40, was found inside an apartment at 804-A E. Lenoir St. on June 28, 1998, police said.

In 2007, members of the Raleigh Police Department’s Major Crimes Task Force resubmitted evidence in the slayings to the State Bureau of Investigation so the items could be analyzed using the most up-to-date technology. Through its analysis, the SBI lab developed a DNA link to Walker, police said.

Walker had been serving a sentence on unrelated charges of assault with a deadly weapon and being a habitual felon, and police said he was released Monday from Johnston Correctional Institution. He was immediately taken into custody and transferred to the Wake County Jail.

Nineteen Raleigh homicides remain unsolved, police said. The oldest is the murder of Beth Ellen Vinson, who was killed in August 1994.

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  • COPs eye Jan 21, 2009

    Lets NOT have a trial by MEDIA again folks...the DNA evidence can lose a case just as well as win it.

  • teacher-mom Jan 20, 2009

    Good work. I'll bet they can tie him to some of the others.

  • 1Moms_View Jan 19, 2009

    Glad they got him. Hopefully, they can keep him behind bars. Too bad, since he's proven he's a habitual felon with continued assault charges that they can't go ahead and give him the death penalty over these two murders.

  • workingforthosethatwont Jan 19, 2009

    Ya'll have been watching way too much television.

  • FE Jan 19, 2009

    Qwerty, DNA in and of itself can offer seriously compelling evidence. The "what" and "where" are the major issues, but the scientific proof is exceedingly strong.

    Exception being to an "OJ" type jury, of course.

    And DNA can just as well exclude a suspect as it can convict a suspect.

    FE

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jan 19, 2009

    Check the Picture.

    I want a Red Ryder, double-action, BB Gun. You'll shoot your eye.... never mind. Looks like you already did.

  • SailbadTheSinner Jan 19, 2009

    Depending on where the DNA was found, it might per se be “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    I know that there are certainly places that they could find it that I would be convinced ....

    STS

  • Qwerty27807 Jan 19, 2009

    Even with DNA evidence, how do they plan to round up enough 10 year old witnesses and clues to convict "beyond a reasonable doubt?"