A Kansas court found a man guilty on July 21 of raping and murdering a 100-year-old woman.
Kasey Nesbitt, 37, kicked open Martha Schell's door and broke into her home before assaulting her, The Wichita Eagle reports.
DNA evidence collected from Schell matched Nesbitt’s, sealing the man's fate.
“Without [the DNA] we’d have never solved the case,” said Marc Bennett, district attorney of Sedgwick County. “Wichita is very lucky to have a crime lab … where we can have top-notch DNA experts.”
Nesbitt’s defense attorney, Val Wachtel, argues the DNA evidence is “more confusing than enlightening.”
He explains this is because nobody actually saw Nesbitt enter or leave the woman’s home the night of the rape.
“You cannot let sympathy be your guide in this case because it’s unfair and that’s not allowed in this country,” Wachtel said before the verdict was released.
He did not comment on the jury’s decision.
Sedgwick County District Court Judge Ben Burgess will hand the man his sentence on Aug. 18; Nesbitt may face life in jail.
According to World Wide Weird News, Nesbitt also stole valuables from his victim’s home, adding burglary to the charges of rape and murder.
“We’re very pleased with the jury’s work and very pleased for the victim’s family that they can start to put this behind them,” Bennett said. “They were immensely pleased at the verdict today.”
Initially, Nesbitt faced only charges of rape and burglary. Autopsy results, however, caused the jury to declare the crime a homicide.
After being raped, Schell spent the next three weeks in pain before a blood clot traveled to her lungs, killing her.
The rape left her with a series of injuries that set Schell on a path toward her death, Bennett explained.
“She didn’t die of old age. She didn’t die of heart disease. She died of clots that were the direct result of his actions,” he added. “Did her life end the night of the rape? No. But did the sequence of events that led to her ultimate death begin in that moment? Absolutely.”