An Edgewood man recently found guilty of raping a woman in 2004 closes a case that had gone cold until he was charged last year when he was in a New York jail on unrelated charges, the Harford County Sheriff's Office reported.
Deandre Eugene Wilson, 28, who has addresses in both the 100 block of Rider Court in Edgewood and in the 100 block of Ray Brook Road in Ray Brook, N.Y., was found guilty Oct. 2 in Harford County Circuit Court of two counts of first-degree rape and first-degree burglary. Ray Brook is near Lake Placid, N.Y.
Wilson, who was being held at the Raybrook Federal Correctional Institute on conspiracy and cocaine possession charges, was charged Sept. 17, 2012, in the rape of a 33-year-old woman nine years earlier in the 800 block of Windstream Way in Edgewood, the Sheriff's Office said in a press release Tuesday.
Wilson was alleged to have broken into the home just before 3 a.m. on July 14, 2004. The woman said she was asleep in her living room when she was awakened by a man on top of her. Wilson was said to have threatened the victim and then physically and sexually assaulted her, according to the release.
Detectives were re-interviewing victims and witnesses in late 2011 and reviewing forensic evidence that could be submitted for DNA analysis, according to the release.
As part of that review, they identified forensic evidence in the case that could be submitted for DNA analysis and comparison. On Oct. 12, 2011, detectives submitted their evidence to the Maryland State Police Laboratories, which subsequently entered the DNA data into the FBI's Combined DNA Index System, known as CODIS. CODIS generates investigative leads in cases where biological evidence is recovered from a crime scene and forensic profiles are searched based on results obtained from DNA analysis.
In February 2012, detectives were notified that CODIS had identified a match between Wilson and evidence taken from the scene of the 2004 rape, and in May of 2012 detectives traveled to New York, where they obtained additional DNA swabs from Wilson to compare with what they had. Lab results returned in late August 2012 confirmed the match between Wilson and the recovered evidence. Arrest warrants were subsequently obtained and Wilson was charged.
Initially, he had been charged with two counts of first-degree rape, second-degree rape, second-degree assault, first-degree burglary and third-degree burglary, court records say.
A Harford County jury convicted him of one count each of first degree rape and first degree burglary, according to Cristin Treaster of the Harford County State's Attorney's Office. Wilson is being held in the Harford County Detention Center awaiting his sentencing hearing, which has been scheduled for Jan. 21, 2014.
Hopkins explained the CODIS system did not come into its own until 2008 or 2009.
"As we revisit cold cases, technology now begins to evolve," he pointed out, explaining that evidence the Sheriff's Office was unable to use in 2004 is now usable.
Sexual crime especially is "horribly traumatic," so Hopkins said the office is glad to have solved the case.
The victim "knows the person is not going to hurt her or anyone ever again," he said.