Slain woman’s DNA not found in hair and teeth

DNA testing completed in March showed that hair and teeth taken from the home of Lewis Kyle Wilson last November do not match that of slain prostitute Kelly Lane Smith, Asheville police revealed recently. Wilson had been named a "person of interest" in the 2006 murder, and he remains in jail on charges of brutally assaulting and kidnapping a prostitute in an unrelated case.

Last week, when asked by local media, the Asheville Police Department revealed that state lab results received at the end of March show that hair and teeth found in Wilson's residence do not match Smith's DNA.

The APD would not specify if Wilson is still a "person of interest" in the Smith murder.

"All we have established to this point is that the DNA did not match that of Kelly Lane Smith," APD spokesperson Melissa Williams wrote in an e-mail to Xpress, noting that all she could say without compromising the investigation is that "the DNA lab checked the evidence solely for connections to Kelly. The investigation into her death continues, and detectives are still interviewing witnesses and gathering information in the case."

While the APD received the evidence in March, they did not release or publicize it at the time, though they did inform Smith's family.

"If you'll recall, at no point did we seek to put [the] media spotlight on Mr. Wilson," Williams added. "We never issued a release or any media alert when we executed the search warrant on his property. Our goal was due diligence in tracking down any and all possible investigative leads in Ms. Smith's case, which continues to be our focus."

After a woman said he forced her to perform oral sex and stabbed her in the head on Nov. 19, Wilson, a 31-year-old carpenter, was arrested on Nov. 26, charged with first-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill. He remains in the Buncombe County Detention Facility awaiting trial. No date has yet been set. Wilson has also been identified as the attacker in two other prostitute assaults but has not been charged in those cases.

In a February jailhouse interview with Xpress, Wilson claimed to be innocent of the charges, asserting that the prostitute had attacked him first in the Nov. 19 incident. He said that the wisdom teeth the police found in his house were his own, as was the hair. His girlfriend had shaved his head, he said, and he was keeping the clippings to give to Locks of Love.

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