SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Connecticut man was convicted Monday of first-degree murder for beating and fatally stabbing an 83-year-old widower during a 1989 break-in at the victim's home in Pacific Beach.
Howard Dean Jamison, 53, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Oct. 27 by Judge Laura Halgren.
After only a few hours of deliberations, jurors found Jamison guilty of murdering Ewing C. Scroggs the night of Dec. 8, 1989. The panel found true an allegation that the murder happened during the course of a burglary.
The victim, who lived alone, was discovered two days after being stabbed in the back with his own butcher knife, Deputy District Attorney Allison Worden said.
Worden told the jury in her closing argument Friday that Jamison left his DNA in the residence, both in a blood stain on a bedroom drawer and a cigarette butt in the main bathroom.
Worden told jurors that after killing Scroggs, Jamison rummaged through the victim's dresser drawers and belongings before leaving.
Defense attorney Troy Britt told the jury that Jamison was in Scroggs' home at some point, but that didn't prove he killed the victim.
Worden said Jamison was in San Diego at the time of the murder and stayed for only two weeks. When the victim's body was discovered, Jamison turned himself in as a fugitive from Connecticut and was extradited back to that state.
Worden said the case went cold until 2003, when the blood stain on the drawer and the cigarette butt could be tested for DNA.
In April 2009, authorities using a national database matched the DNA found at the crime scene with DNA taken from Jamison, and he was arrested on Aug. 24, 2009, in Milford, Conn. Upon his arrest, the first thing Jamison asked for was a cigarette, the prosecutor said.
Worden said only DNA from Scroggs and Jamison was found in the victim's home.
"These detectives worked for 20 years and they never gave up," Worden told the jury. "When the defendant murdered Mr. Scroggs and burglarized his home, he left his DNA."
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