3 years later, rape suspect behind bars

James Crockett (Source: EBRSO)
James Crockett (Source: EBRSO)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - James Crockett Jr., 41, was charged with aggravated rape three years ago. Now, he is behind bars at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Baton Rouge Police had to sit on the warrant for three years because Crockett had to serve his time in Mississippi.

July 5, 2009, police said Crockett knocked on the door at an apartment complex on Nicholson Drive near LSU. According to the warrant, a 22-year-old female opened the door. Because Crockett asked for her roommate by name, the victim assumed he was a friend and allowed him inside.

"Once inside, he used a stun gun and a pair of handcuffs to subdue the victim. That's when the rape occurred," said BRPD Corporal Tommy Stubbs.

Five days later, July 10, 2009, police in Alabama picked up Crockett saying he was acting suspicious. They found on him a pair of handcuffs and a taser. From there, Crockett was presented in a lineup to the victim where she is said to have identified him. But because he was also a suspect in a similar case in Hattiesburg, MS, he served his time there first. Then Wednesday, he was transported to Baton Rouge to serve his aggravated rape charge.

"We arrested him based on identification and verification, but we did obtain a DNA swab from him, and his DNA did match evidence collected at the scene" said Stubbs.

Meaning in Crockett's case, DNA verified he was the suspect, DNA that was analyzed at the State Police Crime Lab.

"DNA is specific to one unique person just like your fingerprints," said State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson.

Col. Edmonson said over the past four years, the crime lab has worked through its entire backlog successfully closing hundreds of cases.

"The turnaround is a matter of days where it used to be weeks and months if not close to six months plus," said Col. Edmonson. "Last month, 400 cases came into the lab, and it produced 400 results."

Late July, Baton Rouge Police arrested Michael Rushing for allegedly kidnapping and raping a 22-year-old woman. At that time, detectives took a DNA swab from Rushing. Monday, August 6, that swab linked Rushing to another kidnapping and rape of a 14-year-old girl 12 years ago.

"That's what the Crime Lab does. It brings closure. It ties the pieces together because all the evidence goes to the Crime Lab, and it takes all that evidence and brings it to life," said Col. Edmonson.

The colonel said depending on the severity of the crime, the lab can turn around DNA evidence in a matter of hours if need be compared to when they had a backlog and it would take months.

Crockett remains at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a $455,000 bond.

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