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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Darryl Littlejohn to be indicted for murder of Imette St. Guillen

Update: March 23, 2006, Littlejohn indicted in St. Guillen murder

Darryl Littlejohn
Darryl Littlejohn (alias Jonathan Blaze).

Darryl Littlejohn and sketch of rapist/kidnapper

Good News. News services are all reporting about the NYPD 3 p.m. press conference where Commissioner Kelly said Darry Littlejohn will be indicted for the murder of Imette St. Guillen. AP reported:

DNA evidence found on the plastic ties that were used to bind strangled student Imette St. Guillen has been matched to prime suspect Darryl Littlejohn, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Sunday.

The New York Police Department commissioner said authorities would be taking that match and other evidence to a grand jury to get an indictment against Littlejohn for the murder of the graduate student last month. He didn't give a date for when the grand jury would get the case.

Littlejohn, in custody at a Rikers Island jail on a parole violation, had not been arrested in connection with St. Guillen's death as of Sunday afternoon.

Kelly said the plastic ties were used to bind St. Guillen's hands behind her back. He wouldn't comment on how blood got onto the restraints but said, "It is a very important piece of evidence for us."

The indictment will be sought with a Brooklyn grand jury. A Fox News analyst said don't be surprised if there are more twists and turns in this case. There is still the open issue of a possible accomplice. From Boston comes this:

According to The Boston Globe, New York City authorities went door-to-door in the neighborhood of chief suspect -- Darryl Littlejohn -- showing residents pictures of several women and asking to interview young men.

Officials confirmed there is evidence pointing to someone else being involved. However, they would not comment on how the women in the photos were connected.

NYPD Searches For Possible 2nd Suspect In Murder [CBS Boston, Mar. 12, 2005]

Links to Other Cases

In addition, Kelly said, other evidence now links Littlejohn to past sexual assaults — rapes and attempted rapes — that help establish a pattern of sexual violence. In those cases, women were bound and washed or swabbed clean by an assailant. St. Guillen's case bears several similarities.

ABC News has learned the evidence includes a DNA match to Littlejohn on the handcuffs used to bind a victim in an alleged attempted rape. Two victims of those assaults failed to identify Littlejohn as their assailant in police lineups held last week.
[the victims reportedly said he was too short]

There are ways for a short man to make himself appear taller. The Daily News:
[people in Littlejohn's neighborhood] knew he was a self-styled police buff, dressing in fatigues or black SWAT team-type uniforms, tucking his trousers neatly into black combat boots, sometimes wearing paraphernalia that identified him as a federal agent or U.S. marshal.

Littlejohn was probably not wearing combat boots in the two rape lineups. Combat boots can add 3 inches to a person's height and would make the 5'7" Littlejohn appear to be 5'10" and add a hat to that and he could make himself look 5'11".

Regarding Littlejohn posing as a fugitive recovery agent and wearing a uniform the NY Post reported:
In a new development, sources say Littlejohn worked for a bail-enforcement company in Passaic, N.J., and believe he could have gotten a bulletproof vest, badge and clothing there.

NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly at Sunday press conference
The NYPD must have been feeling some serious media and public pressure about their handling of this case to have the commissioner himself conduct the press conference on a Sunday afternoon.

Is the Imette St. Guillen murder case a watershed event regarding DNA testing in criminal cases?
Does it now mean that without the DNA link police will never call someone a prime or lead suspect in a homicide or rape investigation? Police departments across the country surely have taken note of how the NYPD handled this case. Is this the new textbook example of how to run a murder investigation? Does it mean there are now just "person's of interest" and suspects only emerge after DNA links them to the crime?

The conflict in the ongoing rape investigations between a witness viewing a police lineup and the DNA evidence again underscores how fallible eyewitnesses are.

The St. Guillen Standard: Imette's struggle for life will not be forgotten.

Imette St. Guillen drew blood from her murderer. Blood that must now certainly convict Darryl Littlejohn of her murder. Will Imette St. Guillen, a criminal justice graduate student at John Jay College now have her name forever connected to a high standard of DNA proof that is required in violent criminal cases? Is the "St. Guillen Standard" of a positive DNA link to a violent crime now needed before a case is presented to a grand jury with a guarantee of an indictment being returned. Therefore the "Imette Standard" or "St. Guillen Standard" will be the bar that all future criminal investigators strive to reach. What would Imette have thought about this?

Imette St. Guillen

N.Y. police ID '‘prime suspect' in student death [msnbc.com, Mar. 12, 2006]
DNA Links Littlejohn To Murder Of St. Guillen [cbs-tv, Mar. 12, 2006]

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