By IVY HERRON
At 9 a.m. on Jan. 9, 2006, the trial against Kevin LaMonte Hampton, 43, of Terre Haute, accused of murdering Tanette Dickison, Dianna Lehman and Cassie Harris, will begin.
Law enforcement personnel from two other states have joined the investigation, with the possibility of more in the future.
According to a probable cause affidavit acquired by The Brazil Times, blood and saliva samples from Hampton were requested by members of the San Diego Police Department Sex Crimes Unit on June 17, 2005.
The SDPD's investigation in a December 2000 case involving charges of false imprisonment, sexual penetration with a foreign object and oral copulation has matched the DNA profile from semen collected during the investigation into Dianna Lehman's murder in Vigo County on May 19, 2000.
According to affidavit, on Dec. 4, 2000, an unidentified female accepted a ride from a black male driving a small sports car in the downtown area of San Diego.
Shortly afterwards the man began to slap and punch the victim in the face and head, ignoring her requests to be let out of the car, and demanding oral sex while making threats against the victim's life. The scared victim complied with the driver's demands until the car slowed enough to allow her to escape.
The victim described the car as a red sports car with a T-Top and shiny wheel rims.
She turned over her clothing to authorities for DNA sampling. A DNA profile was completed and entered into the FBI Laboratory's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which stores DNA profiles for use in law enforcement purposes throughout the nation.
At the time of the original investigation in California and the Lehman murder in Vigo County in 2000, no suspect was identified in either case but the DNA found in both murders matched, according to the probably cause affidavit.
The DNA profile also matched the unidentified suspect in a rape case originating in Las Vegas.
Hampton's DNA sample was entered into the CODIS database during an unrelated investigation into a rape report earlier this year in Vigo County. (No record has been found of charges filed in the matter.)
Once the DNA profile was matched, SDPD determined Hampton had used an alias while living in California. A record check led to the discovery that there were two outstanding felony warrants for a man known as "Renard Williams." The suspect had also been arrested in Vista, Calif., for charges of kidnapping and forced oral copulation, and subsequently pled guilty to false imprisonment on Sept. 20, 1988.
A fingerprint analysis by a SDPD determined both sets to be those of the same suspect.
Details about the sports car in the SDPD case were then forwarded to local authorities, and the hunt began.
During the joint investigation of Terre Haute Police Department and the SDPD, it was determined that Hampton had purchased a red 1990 Nissan 300ZX from his brother Rick Hampton, who lived in California. The vehicle had a T-Top and shiny wheels. Reported stolen to authorities in Indianapolis during October of 2001, the vehicle was discovered at a Terre Haute residence, 2332 Spruce, last March. The owner of the residence, Jeff Owens, said the vehicle had been left there by Hampton in late 2001 and he had never came back to get it.
A search warrant was obtained and the vehicle was processed for evidence and photographed. Photos allowed the victim in San Diego to identify the vehicle.
The DNA samples of saliva and blood collected from Hampton on June 17, 2005, have been forwarded to the SDPD for further use in their investigation. Hampton, who has pled not guilty to the charges against him in Vigo County, will be transported to the Department of Correction's Center in Plainfield, where he will begin serving a 40-year sentence for a recent unrelated drug conviction while waiting trial in January.