After Innocent Man's Release, DNA Links Maryland Suspect to 1984 Murder

Nearly 20 years after the murder of 9-year-old Dawn Hamilton, Maryland prosecutors have charged the man they believe is responsible for the crime by using the same DNA evidence used to exonerate Kirk Bloodsworth (pictured right), who spent nine years in prison - including time on Maryland's death row - for the crime. Bloodsworth was freed in 1993 after DNA tests conclusively determined he was not the source of physical evidence found at the scene of the crime. Prosecutors now believe the evidence has conclusively linked the perpetrator's DNA to Kimberly Ruffner, who has been jailed on separate sexual assault charges since soon after the 1984 murder of Hamilton. Ruffner has been charged with first-degree murder. (Associated Press, September 5, 2003). See Innocence.