The relatives of Todd Lampley, a father shot dead in his room on February 27, 2011 will finally be able to obtain justice. Twelve years almost to the day after his death, the Massachusetts police have finally arrested a suspect in this case. How ? Quite simply thanks to… a sweet potato. As the Cape Code Times recounts, it was around 10 p.m. in February 2011 that a man shot Todd Lampley, killing him instantly while he was at home. Later, authorities found three shell casings, a cell phone and a sweet potato at the crime scene. The tuber was obviously not the priority, yet after analysis it was discovered that traces of DNA were on the vegetable.

And it is in particular thanks to these DNA traces that Devarus Hampton could be arrested and accused of the murder of Todd Lampley. As explained by prosecutor Jessica Elumba’s assistance, the sweet potato was indeed used as a silencer by the murderer, who stuck it to his weapon to lessen the sound of gunshots. A homemade technique which is notably seen in the acclaimed series The Wire (On listening) and of which Devarus Hampton seemed to be a fan. Indeed, in addition to using the same technique as one of the characters to kill his victim, the 40-year-old man had also registered his mobile phone in the name of Marlo Stanfield, another character in the series.

Why such a long delay?

On February 27, he was indicted for “murder, assault and battery” and pleaded not guilty. Devarus Hampton was already known to police and was wearing an electronic bracelet at the time of the crime. The fact that he was spotted on the spot the evening of the murder and that he had links with the victim was not, however, enough to have him imprisoned at the material time. The prosecutor did not give any explanation for his late arrest.

Twelve years after a mysterious murder, a sweet potato rocks the investigation

Illustration image © Pexels

Maria T.
Maria T.

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