Friday, December 07, 2012 7:41 AM
DNA ties suspect to 2-year-old crime
Man charged twice in a week, has 80 past charges
By Jon Jimison | Times Editor
Wilson police discovered a rack of stolen cellphones and then something that would prove much more important to their investigation — drops of blood where the thief apparently cut himself breaking into a Wilson business.
DNA evidence has now tied a Wilson man to a 21/2-year-old breaking and entering case.
Gabriel Wester Weaver, 41, of 4613 Tammy Lane in Wilson, faces charges in two breaking and entering cases this week, one that took place Tuesday and one from back in 2010 at the Dollar General on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Weaver was recently released from prison for other breaking and entering convictions. He has 80 disposed criminal cases in his lifetime.
"I charged him 10-plus years ago with break-ins along Herring Avenue,” said Sgt. Kelly Lamm, a 22-year veteran of the Wilson Police Department and investigations sergeant over the city’s Burglary Task Force. "He has a very lengthy record.”
BACK IN TIME
On June 19, 2010, a man broke through the front door of the Dollar General at 2111 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., taking a rack of prepaid phones, surveillance video indicated.
But the thief cut his hand in the process, officials said.
"There were drops of blood on the floor near the prepaid phones,” Lamm said.
Detectives launched their investigation.
"We did our job,” Lamm said. "We went in and did the normal ID work we would do, fingerprints and collected the blood.”
Police submitted the samples to the State Bureau of Investigation to be run through DNA sampling.
"We didn’t have a clue who did it at that time,” Lamm said. "On May 23, we got a letter back from the SBI saying they had a DNA match.”
The North Carolina DNA database includes samples from all convicted felons in the state. It stems from a 2003 law.
A recent expansion of the existing law allows police to collect DNA for certain felony and misdemeanor arrests. The samples are analyzed by the SBI and uploaded to state and national DNA databases. If a suspect isn’t convicted, the sample is required to be removed.
"I wrote the search warrant and we collected,” Lamm said.
Wilson investigators traveled to Scotland County, where Weaver had been serving his most recent prison sentence.
"It is sent back to the SBI to compare with the blood again,” Lamm said. "As a result of that, it was a positive match.”
A NEW CASE
Weaver is also charged with breaking into the Spirit Gas station at 6567 Ward Blvd. on Tuesday.
A thief shattered the front door with a hammer and only took some cigarettes. But it was enough to trigger an alarm at the store.
"The front door was all shattered and the alarm was going off and I called police and waited for them to come,” said Janice Crabtree, who was delivering The Wilson Times when she came up on the scene. "I try to help out.”
When the 12-year newspaper carrier pulled up, she knew something was wrong.
"I noticed it right away,” Crabtree said. "There was a cigarette carton on the ground. I heard the alarm. I saw the glass on the ground. It was everywhere. The whole door was shattered.”
Police contacted the store manager. Investigators reviewed store video of what had occurred, according to Lamm.
Officers stopped a man walking on Ward Boulevard matching the description of the man in the video.
Weaver was charged with breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering in both the current and past cases.
His bond was set at $5,000 secured for the Spirit break-in. Further bond information was not available.
Weaver was released from prison earlier this year following a 2011 conviction for breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering, according to North Carolina court records.
In 2009, Weaver was convicted of attempted breaking and entering vehicles.
In 2007, Weaver was convicted of breaking and entering and larceny.
In 2006, he was convicted of misdemeanor breaking and entering and larceny.
In 1999, Weaver was convicted of breaking and entering and larceny.
In 1995, Weaver was convicted of second-degree burglary.
In 1992, he was convicted of breaking and entering.
In 1991, he was convicted of breaking and entering vehicles.
In 1990, he was convicted of larceny.
In 1989, he was convicted of breaking and entering and larceny.
Although Weaver has never been convicted as a habitual felon-status offender, he was twice indicted. On both occasions, the habitual felon charges were dismissed on condition that he pleaded guilty to another crime.
"It’s very frustrating to deal with the same people over and over again when they are doing the same things,” Lamm said.
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