Todd Lampley

DNA Found on Sweet Potato Helps Crack Decades-old Massachusetts Murder Case

A suspect has been identified in connection with a 12-year Massachusetts murder case after law enforcement found the suspect’s DNA on a sweet potato.

Devarus Hampton, 40, pleaded not guilty to murder and assault with dangerous weapon charges on Monday at the Barnstable District Court. He’s currently being held behind bars without bail.

Hampton is accused of killing 31-year-old Todd Lampley (pictured) after shooting through a bedroom window in Hyannis on February 27, 2011. Lampley, a father of young children, according to Cape Cod Times, was pronounced dead at the scene.

During court Monday, prosecutors said law enforcement found the sweet potato, along with a black cellphone, and shell casings at the scene. The cellphone was reportedly registered under the name of the fictional character “Marlo Stanfield” from the HBO show, “The Wire.”

“There’s also a sweet potato used as a silencer on the TV show,” First Assistant District Attorney Jessica Elumba said in court Monday, referring to the show.

Witnesses who were at the residence when the fatal shooting took place told investigators that the defendant was watching a basketball game on TV with Lampley on the night in question, then left the room to make a phone call.

“He’s on the phone. Shortly after, shots are fired,” Elumba said.

Elumba added that Hampton was wearing a GPS bracelet monitor at the time of the shooting, stemming from a previous crime. GPS data from the monitor placed him in the area of the crime scene when it happened, she said.

Location records also placed him at a pond where the murder weapon was tossed, and later found by fishermen.

“Police then go back and look at this defendant’s GPS records which show on the day after the shooting on February 28 at approximately 11:41 p.m., GPS coordinates have him stopping at that pond.”

Hampton’s defense attorney, Edward Fogarty, said he has plans to launch a “vigorous defense” in the “very old case.”

Lampley is due back in court on April 5. Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Todd Lampley/ Handout]