Gary Billy Bivens pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and aggravated assault in the January 1981 death of Martha Winters during a burglary at her home in Phoenix.
An Arizona man convicted in the beating death of a 93-year-old woman was sentenced to the maximum 55 years in prison in a case that went unsolved for nearly 30 years until investigators revisited DNA evidence from the crime scene.
Gary Billy Bivens pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and aggravated assault in the January 1981 death of Martha Winters and an attack on her sister-in-law during a burglary at the women's Phoenix home.
The 92-year-old sister-in-law, Jesse Winters, was beaten but survived the Jan. 31 attack.
An intruder entered their home and demanded money from Jesse Winters, who was hearing impaired and unable to understand him. He then wrote a note demanding money and threatening to kill her, but when she refused to cooperate he beat her until she was unconscious, prosecutor said.
When she regained consciousness, Jesse Winters found her sister-in-law severely beaten and lying on the living room floor. Their home had been ransacked and a gun was later found missing from the residence.
Martha Winters died from her injuries a few days later. Police identified several possible suspects but were unable to link any of them to the crime. With no additional leads, the investigation went cold.
Authorities say the case was solved after investigators re-examined it and matched DNA found on a comb outside the Winters' home with DNA from Bivens.
Bivens wasn't a suspect until 2010 but had submitted a DNA sample to a national database after he was arrested on armed robbery charges.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.
Sunday, July 27 2014 6:44 PM EDT2014-07-27 22:44:37 GMT
July 25-27 is International Swimmable Water Weekend, and Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatubus wanted all of the CSRA to know that. She posted a video to her Facebook page Friday challenging people toMore >>
July 27 marks the end of International Swimmable Water Weekend, a weekend encouraging people to get out and enjoy local waterways. Even after a report released in June named the Savannah River the third most toxic in the nation, people aren't afraid to get out and enjoy the water.More >>
Saturday, July 26 2014 7:44 PM EDT2014-07-26 23:44:26 GMT
We first told you about Alex Moore a few weeks ago, when his church held a bone marrow drive with the hopes of finding a match to help Alex battle an extremely rare disease. Thankfully, Alex's conditionMore >>
After a bone marrow drive to help find a match for five-year-old Alex Moore, the community stepped up again to help raise money for Alex in his fight against aplastic anemia.More >>