DETROIT (WJBK) - Authorities in Detroit have charged a 65-year-old man in connection with two unsolved cases. James Matthews is facing charges in connection with a sexual assault that took place in 2000 and a 2003 homicide.
Matthews was arrested earlier this spring in New York, but we're told he lived in Detroit when the crimes happened. He just arrived in Michigan on extradition.
The first unsolved crime happened in the early morning hours of July 12, 2000. We're told Matthews told a 50-year-old female acquaintance that he wanted her to come to his house to talk. Once inside, Matthews is alleged to have became violent and sexually assaulted her while armed with a knife. After the assault, he restrained the victim and went in another room. While he was away, the victim was able to escape and called 911. Matthews was arrested at the scene and the victim was taken to the hospital. The case was closed soon after, though, when the victim wasn't able to appear for a required interview.
Earlier this year, new forensic evidence was developed and the woman was once again contacted and interviewed. As a result, authorities issued a warrant for his arrest on two counts of criminal sexual conduct. He was arrested on April 19, 2018 in New York.
The second crime happened in the winter of 2003. In the morning of January 10, police were called to a home and found a woman's body in the front yard. The body of 40-year-old Marchella Robinson was found on the lawn next door to the home where Matthews was living. Authorities allege Matthews had strangled her.
Earlier this year, authorities said forensic evidence in the sexual assault case linked Matthews to Robinson's death. On July 31, 2018, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged Matthews with first-degree murder.
As Prosecutor Worthy explains, "This 2003 homicide case was reopened when forensic evidence was discovered in a sexual assault case that allegedly linked the defendant to this homicide. We aggressively worked on this case, and as a result, this led us to partner with police authorities from the New York City Police Department. This resulted in the First Degree Murder charge against Defendant Matthews."
After his arrest, Matthews arrived in Michigan this past weekend on Sunday, August 12. He's expected to be arraigned on multiple charges on Tuesday.