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Convicted rapist pleads not guilty to 1986 Tacoma murder

gavelTACOMA — A not guilty plea was entered Friday on behalf of convicted rapist Christopher Leon Smith, already serving 50 years to life in prison and now charged with the slaying of a Tacoma woman in 1986.

The News Tribune said Pierce County prosecutors on Friday formally charged Smith with first-degree murder in the 1986 death of Carol Davidson, who was found bound and strangled in her apartment.

According to the newspaper, Tacoma police detective Gene Miller, who heads the Tacoma Police Department’s cold-case unit, said DNA evidence collected at the crime scene 25 years ago ultimately linked Smith to Davidson’s death even though it was virtually unusable back then.

Smith has denied killing Davidson and called anything linking his DNA to the crime “a conspiracy,” court records show, according to the News Tribune.

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