Full Story:A Colorado man sentenced this week to life in prison for killing a woman two years ago was tied to the slaying by DNA found on a 6-inch bratwurst lodged in her throat, prosecutors said.
Terrence Terell Straughter, 51, of Aurora, was sentenced Monday after being found guilty on July 31 of first-degree murder in the death of Dana Sems, 57, whose son found her lifeless body beneath a pile of clothes in her bedroom, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Straughter killed Sems less than six months after serving eight years in prison for a domestic violence assault. They met at Sems’ apartment in December 2017 through a mutual acquaintance and had an argument there, according to witnesses.
Sems, who suffered from a seizure disorder, was found dead the following day by her son after a medical home alarm company was unable to contact her.
Police found that Straughter had tried to wash Sems’ body in an attempt to destroy evidence, rubbing some kind of lotion and salt on her skin, District Attorney George Brauchler said.
DNA belonging to Straughter — who was quickly eyed as a suspect — was also found on a 6¼-inch piece of bratwurst that was shoved down Sems’ throat, prosecutors said.
The sausage had been cooked and was partially hanging out of Sems’ mouth, the Sentinel Colorado reports, citing an arrest affidavit.
Investigators also obtained Straughter’s DNA from tissues he used during an interview with police one day after the slaying.
One of Sems’ neighbors had earlier told cops that she spoke with a man who looked like the late actor Michael Clarke Duncan at Sems’ apartment on the day of her death, according to the affidavit.