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Prosecutors and cops have long complained of the so-called CSI-Effect -- in other words, people watching cop and court dramas on TV have come to expect the same level of investigations and advanced technlogy (even if some of it doesn't exist) that they get discouraged in real court rooms and let criminals go.

But now, Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy is touting her own CSI case -- the solving of a murder in a vacant house with no witnesses. DNA evidence from under the victim's fingernails linked to a hammer used to pummel the victim 16 times in the head helped nail the suspect.

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That man had a string of criminal convictions in New York -- evidence that Maryland is not alone in a revolving door-justice system.

For more, here's the statement from city prosecutors:

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Darnell Jeter, 45, of the 5000 block of Walther Avenue was found guilty of second degree murder and carrying a deadly weapon late Tuesday afternoon after a jury deliberated four hours before reaching a verdict. Jeter will be sentenced before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Emanuel Brown on July 8, 2010.

Prosecutors relied heavily upon an excellent police investigation prepared by veteran detectives in the Baltimore Police Department Homicide Division. The investigation led to a DNA hit from evidence recovered under the victim's fingernails and Jeter's fingerprints on the murder weapon, in addition to the victim's blood on the murder weapon to help secure the conviction. There were no witnesses to the murder that occurred in a vacant dwelling and homicide detectives had one lead from witness interviews -- an individual with a street name of "New York".  Detectives were able to learn that an individual nicknamed "New York" had been living for a brief period of time in the second floor apartment where the murder occurred.  Darnell Jeter was later identified as "New York" in a photo array and the individual living on occasion in the second floor vacant apartment at 1202 Treeleaf Court where the murder occurred.

On March 25, 2007, the victim, Theresa Parker, 39, was found unresponsive on the second floor of a vacant dwelling at 1202 Treeleaf Court, in the Somerset Projects.  An autopsy revealed that Parker sustained 17 blunt force trauma injuries, 16 of those to the head. Additionally, the victim sustained injuries to the neck, and petechial hemorrhaging to the eyes, which were consistent with asphyxiation.

Although Jeter denied living at the dwelling, crime lab technicians recovered CDs in a closet in the dwelling, and suitable prints which were later found to belong to Darnell Jeter. In July of 2007, after search warrants were secured to obtain swabs of Jeter's mouth, DNA was removed for comparison to evidence removed from the crime scene and in February 2008, the DNA comparison was completed.  Darnell Jeter's DNA was found on the handle of a hammer believed to be the murder weapon and underneath the fingernails of the victim. The blood on the head of that hammer was found to belong to the victim, Theresa Parker.

Darnell Jeter has an extensive criminal record from New York State that includes seventeen prior convictions dating back to 1983. Additionally, Jeter was convicted in Maryland of failure to register as a sex offender in 2007. He was found guilty of violating probation in November 2009 and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
 
Assistant State's Attorney Rita Wisthoff-Ito of the Homicide Division prosecuted this case.

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