DNA Connects Serial Murder Suspect in Two Major Crimes

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DETROIT, MI – DNA in two major cases is connecting one man to both of those crimes. James Edward Matthews, 65-years-old, of Detroit, was charged with and arraigned in connection with the 2003 homicide of Marchella Robinson, of Detroit and two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree.jail

Ms. Robinson was 40-years-old at the time of her death. On January 10, 2003 at approximately 8:50 a.m., Detroit Police officers were dispatched to the 11400 block of St. Mary’s Street in Detroit. Upon arrival, the officers discovered victim’s lifeless body on the front lawn next door to the home where Mathews was residing in the11400 block of St. Mary’s. It is alleged that Matthews strangled the victim.

In February 2018, the Detroit Police Department presented the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office with a not in custody warrant request for James Matthews in connection with the murder of Ms. Robinson. It is alleged that forensic evidence in the 2000 Criminal Sexual Conduct case links Matthews to the 2003 homicide case.

On July 12, 2000 at 6:30 a.m. Matthews  told  a 50-year-old female acquaintance that he wanted her to come to his house in the 15000 block of Dolphin to talk.  Once inside it is alleged that Matthews became violent and sexually assaulted the woman while armed with a knife.  After the assault he restrained the victim and left the room. While he was in another part of the house the victim  was able to escape and call 911. Matthews was arrested at the scene, and the victim was taken to a local hospital.

On July 31st, 2018, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office charged Matthews with First Degree Premeditated Murder.

Matthews was arrested on April 19th, 2018, on two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree, and he refused to waive extradition in New York. On July 23, 2018 Matthews was arraigned on the Governor’s Warrant in New York, and on August 6th, 2018, after the extradition hearings concluded Mathews left New York State and was transported to Michigan. He arrived in Michigan on August 12, 2018.

Matthews was arraigned on August 14, 2018 t 10:30 a.m. before 36th District Court Magistrate Millicent Sherman. The probable cause conference is scheduled for August 28, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.; the preliminary examination is scheduled for September 4, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. Both hearings are before Judge Deborah Lewis Langston in 36th District Court. The defendant was remanded to jail.

Prosecutor Worthy said, “This 2003 homicide case was reopened when forensic evidence was discovered in a sexual assault case that allegedly linked the defendant to this homicide. We aggressively worked on this case, and as a result, this led us to partner with police authorities from the New York City Police Department. This resulted in the First Degree Murder charge against Defendant Matthews.”

Matthews was arraigned on August 14, 2018 t 10:30 a.m. before 36th District Court Magistrate Millicent Sherman. The probable cause conference is scheduled for August 28, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.; the preliminary examination is scheduled for September 4, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. Both hearings are before Judge Deborah Lewis Langston in 36th District Court. The defendant was remanded to jail.

A warrant request was presented to WCPO in 2003 which was returned to the Detroit Police Department with a request for further investigation. The warrant was not returned with the work requested by WCPO.

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