Maryland man nabbed through DNA, genetic genealogy pleads guilty to murder

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iStock(ODENTON, Md.) -- A Maryland man nabbed for murder through DNA and genetic genealogy has pleaded guilty to the crime -- shooting a man during a home invasion who died five years later, prosecutors said Monday.

Fred Lee Frampton Jr., 33, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder for the death of Michael Anthony Temple, who was shot in 2010 in Odenton, Maryland, the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office said.

Genetic genealogy -- a novel technique that compares unknown DNA evidence to public genetic databases to identify suspects through their family members -- has been called a "game-changer" in the effort to crack cold cases.

Since the arrest of the suspected "Golden State Killer" in April 2018, over 50 suspects have been identified through the technology, according to CeCe Moore, the chief genealogist at Parabon NanoLabs, which investigated Frampton's case among others. Moore has appeared as an expert in ABC News 20/20 episodes.

Temple told investigators he thought he stabbed the man who shot him, prosecutors said, and blood was collected from the knife.

Temple died on June 18, 2015 -- more than five years later -- and his death was ruled a homicide, police said.

It took several more years after his death to zero in on the suspects.

The break came through genetic genealogy.

In 2018, analysts from Parabon NanoLabs traced an unknown suspect's family tree based on DNA left behind at the home invasion scene, and that led them to Frampton, officials said.

In October 2018 detectives followed Frampton and watch him throw a coffee cup and a cigarette on the ground, said prosecutors.

Both were collected for testing; DNA from the cup and cigarette was determined to share the same source of DNA found on the knife at the crime scene, prosecutors said.

Frampton was arrested on Nov. 1, 2018 and "confessed to the murder and home invasion," prosecutors said.

A gun used in the crime was found at his home, prosecutors said.

The second suspect died from an overdose in March 2018, prosecutors said.

"Mr. Frampton will finally be held accountable for this violent home invasion that forever changed the life of Mr. Temple, his family and the surviving victims," Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said in a statement Monday.

Frampton is set to be sentenced on Sept. 19 and he faces life in prison.

Frampton isn't the first conviction from DNA and genetic genealogy.

In January a Pennsylvania DJ pleaded guilty to murdering a 25-year-old woman in 1992 after DNA genetic genealogy linked him to the cold case.

Just last week a man who had been arrested through the novel technique was convicted by a Washington state jury of a young couple's 1987 double murder.

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