Cold Case: Texas Police Make Arrest in Teen's 1987 Murder

By George Khoury, Esq. on December 15, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

After 29 years, police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of Kae Robinson. Robinson was only 19 years old, and was sunbathing at Lake Weatherford in Weatherford, Texas when she disappeared and was later discovered murdered. While investigators continued to follow up on leads over the decades, the case had seemingly gone cold. That is, until this past January when the case was reviewed and a new approach taken.

The renewed investigation culminated in finding a suspect. The newly discovered suspect, Ricky Lee Adkins, is now 59 years old, and lived in the area during the time of the murder. While information connecting Adkins to the murder is scant in the news, a grand jury returned an indictment on capital murder charges. However, DNA evidence linking Adkins to the murder is currently being tested by authorities.

While the authorities were able to get their indictment against Adkins, the media reports that investigators believe Adkins did not act alone and that there are other suspects they are searching for. According to Adkin's girlfriend, he had been acting depressed since investigators paid him a visit a few months ago.

Cold Cases and DNA

DNA evidence is an important tool in criminal investigations and cases. When DNA evidence is present and matches the defendant, it becomes much easier to prove the case against the defendant. However, DNA evidence can also favor a defendant if it doesn't match.

Cold Cases and the Statute of Limitations

While most people are familiar with the concept of a statute of limitations, when it comes to certain crimes, the concept does not apply at all. Chief among the crimes where there is no statute of limitations is murder. However, it is important to note that statutes of limitations are determined by state law for non-federal criminal charges, and state laws vary, and usually depend on the crime being charged.

So while states like North Carolina do not have a statute of limitations for felony charges, in Florida, murder charges could potentially be barred. For instance, a few years ago, a former FBI agent had his second degree murder conviction overturned because Florida has a statute of limitations for second degree murder (but not for first degree murder).

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