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DNA links Ohio man to 2005 murder of woman in New York City

BRONX, NY – Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark announced the indictment of Ohio resident James Devore, 54, for the 2005 murder of his ex-girlfriend, linking him to the crime through advanced DNA analysis. Devore was arraigned today in Bronx Supreme Court on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

The breakthrough in the cold case came from DNA found under the victim’s fingernails and on a cigarette butt that Devore had thrown away. The forensic analysis was possible thanks to significant advances in DNA technology over the years. “The defendant believed he had successfully escaped responsibility for this heinous act,” said District Attorney Clark, highlighting the meticulous work of investigators.

The murder occurred on November 22, 2005, in the Bronx, where Erica Robertson, 29, was found stabbed in her apartment, a scene her daughter discovered the next morning. Devore, who had dated Robertson until 2004, had moved to Ohio shortly after the incident.

A cold case unit revisited the case in 2020, using new DNA testing methods on the existing evidence, leading to the indictment voted by the grand jury on May 22. U.S. Marshals arrested Devore on May 29 in Mansfield, Ohio, and he was extradited to the Bronx on June 5.

The case has brought some relief to the victim’s family, with the victim’s daughter expressing deep gratitude to prosecutors for their efforts to bring her mother’s alleged killer to justice. Devore is taken into custody and is due back in court on June 18.

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