Man Pleads 'Not Guilty' In Saginaw Cold Case 8-17-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Man Pleads 'Not Guilty' In Saginaw Cold Case 8-17-2010

After nearly two decades, the man accused of strangling a woman to death in the parking lot of a Saginaw bar has gone before a judge.
Rodney Slayton, 43, is charged in the 1992 death of Lynette Gibson.
Investigators said Slayton killed the 39-year-old mother and left her body near Ewald's Bar on Court Street, but said at the time, technology couldn't help pinpoint a suspect.
Slayton, who is being held in jail for a different crime, has entered a not guilty plea.
“The case was investigated at the time for weeks,” said Trooper Robert Dunham, with the Michigan State Police Cold Case Homicide Unit.
Without any leads, the case turned cold. In 2009, the Cold Case Unit reopened the file. DNA evidence led detectives to Slayton.
“We just basically took whatever evidence they had back in 1992, re-examined it and developed a suspect,” said Dunham.
Prosecutors have charged Slayton with first-degree murder. The case is expected to go to trial where DNA evidence will be key.
“It actually started with the DNA, and it's probably going to end there also, just because of the technology that wasn't available back then,” said Dunham.
Slayton has a lengthy criminal history with five previous felony convictions.
Family members of Gibson are relieved the case against him is moving forward.
“They told us that they were of the mindset that nothing would ever happen, that they would never know the answer to this, so they were happy to know that someone was looking into it and that actually they could get some closure to this case,” said Dunham.
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