DNA evidence leads to arrest

DNA evidence from a four- year-old burglary case in the Crothersville area has led detectives to a suspect, police said.

Raymond L. Banks Jr., 38, Crothersville, who is already in prison for an unrelated conviction, faces new charges of burglary and theft related to the incident on March 27, 2011.

That incident involved someone breaking into a residence on County Road 850E and taking several items including guns, according to a news release from Sheriff Michael Carothers.

The person or people involved in that burglary left behind several pieces of evidence, and that evidence was collected in an effort to identify a suspect or suspects. The initial investigation was conducted by county Reserve Officer Greg Murphy and Detective Rick Blaker Jr., Detective Lt. Darin Downs said.

Some of the evidence eventually was transferred to the Indiana State Police laboratory in Indianapolis for testing, Downs said. DNA taken from some of that evidence was stored in the national Combined DNA Indexed System for possible matches. DNA in that system is compared daily to DNA taken from prisoners entering the system, Downs said.

Some of the DNA collected from the burglary scene eventually was found to match Banks’ DNA.

Downs said it’s pretty unusual for police here to get a DNA match that leads to an arrest.

He said he and Lt. Andy Wayman visited with Banks at the Branchville Correctional Facility, where he is serving a 4½-year sentence for possession of a syringe, a Level 5 felony. That sentence was issued on June 30 in Scott Circuit Court.

The state dismissed charges of possession of paraphernalia and two counts of failure to stop at scene of accident resulting in damage to attended vehicle in exchange for Banks’ guilty plea. His earliest possible release date on that charge is May 31, 2018.

The purpose of the visit with Banks was to obtain another DNA sample to confirm the match and to talk with Banks about the crime, Downs said.

Downs said Banks will be arrested and brought to the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown once he finishes his current sentence.

Downs the said nice thing about a DNA evidence match is that the statute of limits on a crime doesn’t begin until the match occurs.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.