DNA Evidence Solves Decades-Old Murder And Rape Cases In Toledo

Kenneth Marshall
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News & Politics
Jessica Powers

An Indiana man will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was convicted of charges stemming from a murder and three rapes that took place more than two decades ago.

Kenneth Marshall Was Convicted Of 8 Felonies Earlier This Year

Kenneth Marshall
youtube | ABC13

Kenneth Marshall, 56, was convicted by a Lucas County jury on eight felony counts in May of this year on charges that include aggravated murder and rape for three separate cold cases from 2000.

He was recently sentenced to 130 years behind bars for the crimes he committed more than two decades ago.

Authorities Used DNA Evidence To Finally Link Marshall To The Cold Cases

Investigators at the time.
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Prosecutors in January 2021 used DNA evidence to tie Marshall to three separate incidents that occurred during a short window of time in 2000.

Authorities first determined that one murder and three rapes in the Toledo area were committed by the same person after analyzing various evidence from the crimes. Authorities then ran that genetic profile through the Combined DNA Index System to link the cases to Marshall, who had been arrested for allegedly assaulting his then-girlfriend in Lake County, Indiana.

As a result of that arrest, his DNA was uploaded to the national database. Additional evidence was also presented to jurors during Marshall’s trial, according to The Toledo Blade.

Marshall Murdered One Woman And Raped Two Others In A Spree Of Crimes In 2000

The scene of one of the crimes.
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Officials said Marshall began a crime spree in April 2000 by raping and murdering 19-year-old Chrishana Logan, who was found strangled to death inside her apartment.

Logan's landlord found her body in the living room of her apartment on April 15, 2000.

In August 2000, the same man struck again, raping a 17-year-old near the University of Toledo.

A few months later, in October 2000, the assailant raped a 13-year-old who was on her way to middle school.

Authorities Say DNA Evidence Was 'Absolutely Essential' To Finally Solving The Cold Cases

Kenneth Marshall in court.
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Authorities in the Buckeye State had descriptions of the suspect that fit Marshall, but they didn't have enough evidence to actually bring in a suspect.

He was described at the time as a chunky, big-belly black male in his thirties with a light/ medium complexion. The profile said he was bald, and had a mustache, and possible scars or blotching on his cheeks.

“Science wasn’t there, and so you got away,” Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook said during Marshall’s sentencing in comments reported by the Toledo Blade. “But you are a predator in every sense of the word. You saw them, and you took advantage of them.”

Assistant Lucas County prosecutor Michael Bahner said the DNA evidence was "absolutely essential" to the case.

"What they got was hands-down one of the most important things that happened in this particular case, along with good police work in the beginning to preserve that DNA for testing in the long-term," Bahner said.

Marshall Will Likely Spend The Rest Of His Life Behind Bars For The Crimes

Marshall will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
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While Marshall is technically eligible for parole, he will serve 130 years in jail, so he will likely never get the chance to be paroled.

Bahner said all of the officials who worked on the case feel proud to be able to bring this case to a successful conclusion after decades of hard work.

“We feel good for the victims obviously. It’s a crime that happened 22 years ago now, and members of the cold case unit and Toledo Police Department kept looking for him,” says Bahner. “I think it just sends a good signal to the community that even if something bad happens to you we’re not going to stop looking.”