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Prisoner to be charged in 2001 Hutchins murder

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Staff Writer
HUTCHINS - A warrant has been issued in a rape and homicide case, occurring a little than a year ago at Pebble Creek Mobile Home Park. Billy Leja, 23, a Hispanic male, who was already a prisoner in the Texas Department of Corrections system on unrelated charges of burglary and forgery, was to be charged with allegedly raping and murdering Laura Douthit, 49, a white female.
During a press conference Friday, Nov. 22, Hutchins Assistant Police Chief David Landers said the arrest was made possible by the use of the Combined DNA Index System.

'We couldn't have solved this case without the help of CODIS,' Landers said. He credited the Dallas County physical evidence unit and Texas Rangers for their assistance with the case's investigation.

Sergeant Terry Welch of the Texas Rangers also participated in the press conference where several Dallas area television news cameramen filmed the proceedings.

Hutchins Police Chief Greg Griffin conducted the press conference, introducing Landers and Welch to the media

Landers said DNA had been taken from the victim and several parts of the crime scene inside the mobile home.

He said the suspect had lived in the mobile home park at the time of the murder.

Landers said Leja had been a friend of Douthit's and visited her on several occasions.

Douthit's body was discovered in a singlewide residence at Pebble Creek Mobile Home Park on the morning of Oct. 17, 2001.

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