DNA on knife han­dle leads to man’s ar­rest

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - By Jeff Weiner

Months af­ter a 58-year-old woman was found stabbed to death in­side a home on West Jack­son Street in east Or­ange County, a sus­pect was ar­rested Mon­day night.

Gary Mau­rice Brum­field Jr., 25, faces a charge of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der in the killing of Vera Denise Jones. He was booked into the Or­ange County Jail about 7:15 p.m.

If con­victed as charged, he faces the pos­si­bil­ity of life in prison.

Doc­u­ments made public af­ter Brum­field’s ar­rests shed light on the cir­cum­stances of the woman’s killing, about which the Sher­iff’s Of­fice had pre­vi­ously re­leased few de­tails.

Ac­cord­ing to an af­fi­davit, deputies re­sponded to the home on the 4200 block of West Jack­son Street near Lake Mann the night of July 13 to find Jones dead on the living room floor.

She was par­tially cov­ered with a blan­ket and wear­ing only a shirt, and had “nu­mer­ous stab wounds” and cuts to her body, De­tec­tive Tabares Parker wrote.

The de­tec­tive learned that “nu­mer­ous” peo­ple had been renting a room at the home, the af­fi­davit said.

A bloody knife and club­like ob­ject be­lieved to have been used in the killing were also found in­side the house, Parker wrote.

An au­topsy dis­cov­ered mul­ti­ple skull frac­tures, in ad­di­tion to the stab wounds.

Detectives fo­cused on Brum­field af­ter learn­ing that he had been living in the house and had made threats against Jones in the past, the af­fi­davit said.

In an in­ter­view with detectives, Brum­field de­nied in­volve­ment in Jones’ death, claim­ing he was not in the house at the time that she was killed, the af­fi­davit said.

How­ever, tests matched DNA found on the knife han­dle and the club to a sam­ple taken from Brum­field dur­ing his in­ter­view, Parker wrote.

Brum­field had ap­peared to have a cut on his hand at the time of the in­ter­view, the de­tec­tive noted.

No mo­tive for the killing was re­vealed in court doc­u­ments.

Dur­ing a brief ini­tial court ap­pear­ance Tues­day morning, a judge or­dered Brum­field held with­out bail.

The as­sis­tant public de­fender rep­re­sent­ing Brum­field, Lakeisha Hayling, ar­gued he should be al­lowed to post bail, not­ing he lived in the home, which could ex­plain the DNA.

“All we have here is cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence,” she said.

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