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DNA taken from a lighter found at a 2005 crime scene has been matched to a man.
The Roanoke Times | File 2011
This picture from a 2011 vigil at the site of Jamie LeVar Penn's death shows Penn with his daughter, Jamya Penn, and son Jamie LeVar Penn Jr. during Thanksgiving 2004. Jamie Penn, 23, was found shot to death in a rental car on Thomas Avenue in northwest Roanoke in August 2005.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Roanoke police have matched a man to DNA evidence found at the scene of a 2005 homicide.
According to a warrant filed Wednesday in Roanoke Circuit Court, police are looking to link a man to the scene where Jamie Lavar Penn, 23, was found shot to death in the early morning hours of Aug. 16, 2005.
Penn was found dead in a rental car in the 1100 block of Thomas Avenue Northwest, having suffered multiple close-range gunshot wounds. During the initial investigation, police found a red lighter on the ground next to the vehicle.
In 2006, the lighter tested positive for DNA but was not a match to the victim or any databases.
In April, a test found a match for the DNA. The warrant said police took a swab of the man’s DNA in order to perform a direct comparison against the DNA on the lighter.
Penn was a football player at William Fleming High School and once had been ranked among the state’s top college prospects.
An earlier suspect, Riccardo Ramere Hilton, was arrested in October 2005 on federal drug and weapons charges but was never charged in the shooting. Hilton is not the man named in the new search warrant. The Roanoke Times is not identifying that person because no charges have been filed against him related to Penn’s killing.
Penn had been shot in the lower back while riding in a car in 1999 when he was 17 years old. Kalvin L. Webb was convicted of unlawful wounding and shooting into an occupied car. According to testimony at Webb’s trial, Penn might have been caught in a gang-related dispute between Webb and Timothy “Nippy” Buford, who was convicted later of murder in an unrelated case.
His father, 62-year-old Jimmie Lee Penn, was fatally shot in October 1998 while working at one of his rental properties on Patterson Avenue. He was also shot in the back.
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