DNA in mask used in Jefferson Co. home invasion leads to murder arrest

DNA in mask used in Jefferson Co. home invasion leads to murder arrest
(Source: Jefferson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
(Source: Jefferson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - DNA evidence from a mask found at a crime scene in Jefferson County has led to an arrest.

40-year-old Jason Dale Boatwright, 40, of Bessemer is charged with murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree assault.

Boatwright is in the Jefferson County Jail without bond.

Deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department responded to a report of a disturbance in the 200 block of  Bayview Drive in Mulga on September 15, 2017.

Deputies said the male homeowner and a friend were in a side room of the home visiting when two armed men forced their way in and tried to rob them.The homeowner and his friend began fighting with the suspects and the homeowner was hit in the head with a handgun. A shot was fired during the struggle and one of the suspects identified as Stephen Douglas Crump, 38, of Edgewater died.

The other suspect, identified as Boatwright, was wearing a mask that came off during the struggle. Deputies say he ran to a waiting vehicle and was driven away by a third man identified as Horace Dewayne Stokes, 39, of Mulga.

Stokes was charged with Murder. He remains in the Jefferson County Jail awaiting trial.

The mask was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for DNA testing. DNA was collected from the mask and processed through CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System.

The Combined DNA Index System blends forensic science and computer technology into a tool for linking violent crimes.  It enables federal, state, and local forensic laboratories to exchange and compare DNA profiles electronically, thereby linking serial violent crimes to known offenders.

On August 15, 2018, detectives received information from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences indicating that a DNA match had been obtained and Boatwright was then identified as the suspect.

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