EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) — The violent and mysterious murder of newspaper columnist Jane Anker Hylton has taken several turns over the last three decades.
On July 7th, 1985, Hylton was found stabbed to death at home in El Dorado Hills. Deputies said Ricky Davis, his then-girlfriend Connie Dahl, and Hylton’s 13-year-old daughter were all at the scene of the murder. All three said they weren’t involved and the case went cold until detectives reopened it 14 years later.
Davis was ultimately convicted in 2005 for second-degree murder and sentenced to 16 years in state prison. But in a jailhouse interview, Davis told CBS13 he was innocent, saying he passed a lie detector test and blaming the state for misplacing key evidence proving he didn’t do it.
His murder conviction was later reversed and a new trial was set for April 2018. The Northern California Innocence Project got involved and now, new DNA evidence could open up the possibility of a new suspect — a killer no one ever knew about.
The NCIP says with the help of the El Dorado County District Attorney’s office, they obtained post-conviction DNA testing on a number of pieces of evidence at the crime scene, including Hylton’s nightgown and biological material from under her fingernails. The results revealed an “unknown male DNA profile” on the nightgown in the area of a bite mark and the same male DNA profile under Hylton’s fingernails. The test results excluded Davis, Dahl and Hylton’s daughter as the sources of the DNA.
Jail records show Davis, who was booked into the El Dorado County Jail last May to await his new trial, is now listed as awaiting a “removal order” with his scheduled release date “to be determined.” CBS13 reached out to NCIP and didn’t hear back.
The El Dorado County District Attorney will shed light on the new developments Thursday morning and law enforcement is expected to be there as well.