DNA Leads to Conviction in 22-Year-Old Rape-Murder

San Francisco man raped, killed woman in burglary case: jury
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2013 1:15 PM CST
DNA Leads to Conviction in 22-Year-Old Rape-Murder
Otis Hughes has been found guilty of murder 17 years later, following DNA evidence.   (Shutterstock)

A San Francisco man who went to prison decades ago as a burglar has now been convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1991. Otis Hughes, 61, was imprisoned for burglary after the death of Karen Wong, whose apartment appeared to have been ransacked, police said. After he was released in 2008, a DNA sample he provided was matched with evidence at the scene, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. That led to the jury's conviction yesterday; Hughes could be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

He plans to appeal the verdict. Prosecutors said the situation fit a pattern: Hughes would enter homes through unlocked windows or doors when victims were in; then he would pick up a knife found in the kitchen, they said. Hughes' defense noted that he had never been accused of an actual attack. Hughes' public defender said the pair may have had consensual sex and that Wong's boyfriend, who, according to her diary, had a temper, was probably the killer. (Read more DNA evidence stories.)

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