Jury convicts in 1987 rape-murder case of 79-year-old girl


Jurors on Wednesday convicted a 63-year-old former medical transport driver of the 1987 rape and homicide of a 79-year-old girl inside her Regular Heights residence.

Kevin Thomas Ford, who admitted in trial testimony that he had intercourse with the girl however claimed it was consensual, additionally was convicted of allegations that the homicide was dedicated in the middle of a rape and a housebreaking.

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He can be despatched to jail for all times with out the potential for parole when he’s sentenced on Dec. 13, Deputy District Lawyer Valerie Summers mentioned.

A jury of six males and 6 ladies deliberated about 5 hours on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning earlier than reaching the verdicts. San Diego Superior Courtroom Choose Louis Hanoian presided over the week-long trial.

Grace Hayden was discovered lifeless in her residence by certainly one of her caregivers on Could 20, 1987. Her pajama bottoms had been forged apart and he or she lay on her bed room flooring, partly lined by a blanket. The again of her head and her face had been reduce and bruised, and he or she had been smothered.

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DNA samples had been collected, together with a fingerprint left on Hayden’s range, however San Diego police investigators had nothing to match them to for the following three many years.

Then, in 2015, Ford was arrested for a misdemeanor in North Carolina, the place he was dwelling. His DNA and prints had been entered in an FBI nationwide database. A San Diego cold-case investigator ran the Hayden proof by way of testing in 2018 and the match was made to Ford, in response to trial testimony.

Ford initially informed a detective he didn’t know Hayden. However in courtroom, Ford testified that he had pushed her in his transport van numerous occasions, together with two days earlier than her loss of life, and that he thought she needed a relationship with him. He mentioned that they had consensual intercourse and he left her alive.

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Deputy Public Defender Courtney Cutter argued to a jury that prosecutors had no direct proof that Ford killed Hayden, and that another particular person may need dedicated the crime.

Summers informed jurors that concept was “ridiculous” and that Hayden had died throughout a horrible battle together with her assailant.

The prosecutor mentioned Ford admitted taking cocaine earlier than coming into Hayden’s residence. Summers mentioned Ford’s assault on the aged girl was pushed by his sexual urges and the necessity for cash to pay the drug vendor. The lady’s purse and a coin purse lay empty on her mattress when police acquired there.

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