A suspected serial killer was out on bail when he allegedly murdered a young nurse, raped another woman, and attempted to kill yet another — after a lawyer mistakenly told a judge that the repeat violent offender didn’t have a criminal history.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Danueal Drayton was arrested for the July 17 murder of 29-year-old Samantha Stewart, a nurse who lived in Queens, New York. He was arrested after fleeing to California, where he is accused of kidnapping a woman he met on a dating app, presumably with the intent to kill her. He’s also a suspect in the rape of a Brooklyn woman.
After his arrest, Drayton reportedly confessed to six murders.
“[The] common denominator in these cases—one being a murder and one being a rape—is dating websites,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said Thursday, according to ABC News. “This individual is known to us and believed by us to be using dating websites to meet women and victimize women.”
Drayton had previously been arrested and arraigned for the alleged assault of his ex-girlfriend. He was released on bail on July 5, less than two weeks before Stewart’s alleged murder.
And though he had three prior arrests in California involving assaults against women, the Daily News reports, a prosecutor reportedly told a judge the suspect did not have a criminal background.
“People do acknowledge the defendant does have no contacts with the criminal justice system,” Deputy District Attorney John Vitagliano reportedly told a Nassau County judge, who subsequently set Drayton’s bail at $2,000.
It is unclear why the prosecutor was not aware of Drayton’s arrest history.
Zynea Barney, the ex-girlfriend he was arrested for allegedly choking in June, told the Daily News that both she and police were well aware of his past. She said she was able to look up his history online after the relationship took a sour turn.
“He’s known to do this,” one of the officers who responded to her report of the allegedly assault told Barney, she said.
“They said he was a very dangerous man. All the cops knew. They even told my landlord how dangerous he was. That’s why my landlord purchased a camera (for) the front porch.”
The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the Nassau Police Department did not immediately respond to the Daily News’ request for comment.