COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A man has been charged with rape and murder in the slaying of a South Carolina woman who was killed more than 40 years ago after DNA evidence linked him to the case, authorities said.
Charles Ugvine Coleman, 65, was arrested Thursday and jailed in Fairfield County in the death of Elizabeth Ann Howell Wilson, who disappeared after working a shift at a textile mill on March 20, 1976, officials said. Her body and vehicle were found later in a rural community.
Wilson had been strangled, sexually assaulted, and beaten to death, said Tommy Crosby, a spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division.
Crosby told news outlets Coleman was charged and booked into the Fairfield County Jail after a recent forensics “breakthrough” led police to him.
“Whether the crime was recent or happened more than 40 years ago, we will not stop in trying to solve the case,” Mark Keel, chief of the state agency, said in a statement.
It’s unclear whether Coleman has an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Coleman has convictions dating back to 1975, according to records. Records show that in 1977, Coleman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for Chester County convictions for assault and battery with intent to kill, housebreaking, and larceny, The State reported.
Coleman is currently on 30 months probation for April 2020 convictions in Union County on charges of using a firearm while under the influence, according to SLED and South Carolina court records.
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