Albany Police issue warrants in cold case - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany Police issue warrants in cold case

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police issue warrants in a cold case, the violent assaults on two young girls more than 14 years ago.

The crime struck fear in parents across Albany. A man broke into a South Albany home, raped a 13 year old girl and assaulted her 12 year old sister while their parents slept nearby.

Now DNA evidence led them to a man with a long rap sheet who's already in prison.

Two weeks from Tuesday, Thomas Chapman is scheduled to be released from prison. That likely won't happen with new warrants of burglary, rape, and aggravated assault now filed against him here in Dougherty County. Police say between two prison stays Chapman broke into an Albany home and assaulted two young girls.

August 17th, 1994 Albany Police say a stranger broke into this house at 909 Holloway Avenue and used a coat hanger to unlock doors to two bedrooms where he raped a 13 year old girl and attempted to rape a 12 year old before her younger sister woke up. Captain Charlie Poole was the investigator then and collected the evidence.

"It was a sane exam done on the individual at that time," said Captain Charlie Poole, Albany Police.

Periodically the GBI runs sexual assault evidence through its computer records and recently got a hit.

"We got a hit back last year, latter part of last year think it was October we got a report from the GBI stating they had a hit on it," said Poole.

Back then investigators only had this rough sketch to go on. It bears a strong resemblance to Champan's picture now. Investigators have talked with Chapman. He denies the crime, but the preliminary hit was enough for investigators to take the case further.

"A search warrant was taken for his bodily fluids and it was confirmed later that he was the target," said Poole.

Neighbors say they're glad police stayed persistent and family members are overjoyed that the warrants were issued before Chapman was released from prison March third

"You want people to be able to walk the streets and feel free. So much is happening now," said Janin Traylor.

"I talked to the victims yesterday down at the station here and they were delighted to know that the person that actually hurt them was actually in custody," said Poole.

According to the Department of Corrections Thomas Chapman has been in and out of prison since 1994, serving four prison sentences.

He's been convicted of attempted burglary, armed robbery, burglary, possession of cocaine, simple battery, and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

Albany Police say they'll have to wait until his prison term is complete before they can arraign Thomas Chapman in Dougherty County for the crime.

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