Crime

DNA from Lexington woman’s killing took a year to analyze. Indictment took a year more.

Jarvis D. Garrett
Jarvis D. Garrett

A witness statement and DNA evidence led to the murder indictment of a Georgetown man in connection with the 2016 death of a woman in Lexington.

Jarvis D. Garrett, 26, was indicted Monday by a Fayette County grand jury in the death of Stephanie Mullins, 46. Garrett was also indicted on a charge of being a persistent felony offender.

Mullins’ body was found behind a building in an overgrown area of Wolf Run Park off Cross Keys Road. Police were dispatched to the area on Lexington’s west side after a caller told dispatch about hearing gunshots and a woman screaming.

Mullins had died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to an autopsy performed by the Kentucky medical examiner’s office in Frankfort.

Items of evidence were submitted to the Kentucky State Police lab on Aug. 12, 2016, for DNA analysis. Almost a year later, on Aug. 9, 2017, the analysis was completed and a DNA profile was entered into a database.

The evidence collected from the murder scene was a possible match for Garrett, according to court records. Police obtained a search warrant in September 2017 for a buccal swab to be taken from Garrett. The swab is a way to collect DNA from the cells inside a person’s mouth.

In January, the KSP lab confirmed that the swab taken from Garrett was a match to the DNA profile from the evidence originally submitted, court records say.

Police had also interviewed a witness who said he saw a man described as “muscular, wearing no shirt” running from the area where Mullins was found. The description provided by the witness was similar to Garrett.

Police interviewed Garrett on March 22 but “he denied any involvement in the death” of Mullins, says a complaint filed in the court record.

Garrett has convictions in Scott County for wanton endangerment of a police officer in 2012, theft by unlawful taking in 2012, and first-degree wanton endangerment in 2011, according to the indictment.

Garrett remains in the Fayette County jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

Garrett is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 24 in Fayette Circuit Court.

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