Denton Murder Charge Brought 30 Years After Crime
Texas authorities filed an arrest warrant for a Minnesota man for a murder in a Denton hotel room that happened over 30 years ago. In 1983 Francisco Narvaez was found stabbed over 35 times. Police collected blood and fingerprints from the scene. Last year those fingerprints were matched to Robert Otteson who was living in Hastings Minnesota. Authorities also recovered a DNA sample from Otteson which was later matched to samples collected from the crime scene.
The case demonstrates that in Texas an unsolved murder case is always open. Advances in DNA technology allow authorities to test evidence from unsolved murders an obtain a DNA profile that will match a specific suspect. In this case a suspect was located and a sample obtained from the suspects garbage. Obtaining a DNA sample from garbage isn’t that unusual. The police obviously felt they did not have enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the suspects DNA. Or the police may have wanted to obtain a DNA match without alerting the suspect and then confront him when arrested in hopes of obtaining a confession.
Otteson will be transported back to Denton County and face murder charges. Texas Murder charges carry a penalty rang from 5 years to 99 years or life in prison. It will be interesting to see what type of defense will be used at trial. News accounts indicate a very violent struggle took place with the victim receiving over 35 stab wounds. It wouldn’t be surprising to see some type of crime of heat of passion defense used to try and mitigate punishment. The suspect has not had any arrest in the past 30 years and was well liked in his community.