Slain woman’s DNA not found on evidence

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” 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. “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 assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill and with first-degree kidnapping. He remains in the Buncombe County Detention Facility awaiting trial on those charges. No date has yet been set. Wilson has also been linked to 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, in the Nov. 19 incident, the prostitute had attacked him first. He said that the wisdom teeth were his own, while the hair came from his girlfriend shaving his head and was being saved for donation to Locks of Love.

—David Forbes, staff writer

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2 thoughts on “Slain woman’s DNA not found on evidence

  1. ashkat

    “If you’ll recall, at no point did we seek to put [the] media spotlight on Mr. Wilson,”

    Why not? There is enough evidence that he is a danger to women even if he is not Kelly’s killer. The River Arts district should be warned if he is ever released.

  2. Xpress

    It is laudable that ACPD continues to work Ms. Smith’s case. However, the 3 women that identified Wilson as their attacker should have the same attention paid to them.

    Two of the women that ID’d Wilson now refuse to testify due to mistakes by the police and the DA’s office and probably, to be fair, their own fears of testifying publicly. Wilson is a danger to anyone he comes into contact with and all his victims need to be fully heard, supported, and Wilson vigorously prosecuted.

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