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Accused murderer facing more charges

Thursday, November 3, 2005

By IVY HERRON

missivy1964@yahoo.com

The man charged earlier this summer with the murders of Tanette Dickison, Dianna Lehman and Cassie Harris now faces five counts of sexual assualt charges in San Diego, Calif..

Kevin LaMonte Hampton, 43, of Terre Haute, is awaiting a January trial on these charges while serving a 40-year sentence for a recent unrelated drug conviction at the Indiana Department of Correction's Center in Plainfield.

Hampton's DNA sample was entered into the CODIS database during an unrelated investigation into a rape report earlier this year in Vigo County and has matched DNA samples from at least two other active cases from around the county. These blood and saliva samples from Hampton were requested by members of the San Diego Police Department Sex Crimes Unit on June 17, 2005.

The DNA samples have matched SDPD's investigation into a case involving charges of false imprisonment and assorted charges of a sexual nature matched the DNA profile from semen collected during the investigation into Dianna Leh-man's murder in Vigo County on May 19, 2000.

According to the SDPD's probable cause affidavit used to obtain the samples 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. The man demanded oral sex and began to slap and punch the woman while making threats against her life. The victim escaped when the attacker slowed the car down.

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 the murder and the kidnapping attempt matched. Identification of a suspect was not available until Hampton's DNA was registered into the CODIS database this year.

A fingerprint analysis by the SDPD has also aided in identifying the suspect. A man known under the alias of Renard Williams has been proven to be Kevin LaMonte Hampton.

During the joint investigation of Terre Haute Police Department and the SDPD, it was also determined that a vehicle owned by Hampton, which was identified by the victim as the one used in the attack, was discovered at a Terre Haute residence. The owner of the residence confirmed that the vehicle had been left there by Hampton in late 2001 and it was never claimed.

Authorities in California must wait until the conclusion of the trial in Indiana before extraditing Hampton and beginning court proceedings in San Diego.

If Hampton is convicted of the new charges, he faces life in prison under California's sentencing guidelines as a predatory offender.

San Diego police Detective Gregory Flood told the Associated Press that investigators became aware of Hampton only after police in Indiana linked him to the murders through DNA. It's not uncommon for sexual predators to move around the country, Flood said.

"Hampton is, from what I've seen, one of the more dangerous people that I've encountered," he said. "Assuming all that what he's been accused of is true, then he definitely falls into that category of a serial predator."



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