SHAKOPEE, Minn. - A Minnesota man has been charged with the 1999 killing of an Iowa woman.
Police in Shakopee arrested 34-year-old Deshaun Phillips on July 15 on a charge of domestic assault. It was then that Cedar Rapids police contacted them saying they believed Phillips was responsible for killing 44-year-old Judith Weeks on April 5, 1999.
"Happy, blessed, grateful and relieved but at the same time it didn't have to happen," says Weeks' daughter Kristin Twilla.
Judith Weeks' body was found in the back yard of a vacant Cedar Rapids apartment. An autopsy said she'd been struck in the forehead by a sharp object.
Cedar Rapids police say in a news release that the case was thoroughly investigated 14 years ago and has been reviewed several times over the years. But police say investigators specifically assigned to the case developed new information that led to the charge against Phillips.
Twilla says the new information is a DNA match from blood left at the crime scene as her mother tried to fight back her attacker.
"I knew it would just be a matter of time before the person committed a felony and his DNA would go in the system because I don't know how you could commit a murder and never commit a felony again," says Twilla.
Cedar Rapids police will not confirm these details citing the ongoing investigation.
At the time of her mother's murder, Twilla was 15-years-old. She's now a mother herself and plans to be in court every day to see justice done.
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