DNA testing leads to arrest in Stone Mountain double murder case

A suspect was arrested in a Stone Mountain double murder case, after the case went cold for more than 30 years, thanks to a grant program that is testing old DNA samples to solve crimes.

On June 26, DeKalb County District Attorney (DA) Sherry Boston held a press conference to announce the indictment of a Loganville man accused of raping a woman and stabbing both her and her brother in 1990 in a Stone Mountain apartment the victims shared.

On June 25, a DeKalb County Grand jury indicted 55-year-old Kenneth Perry on two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of rape, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated battery, two counts of possession of a knife during the commission of a felony, and theft by taking, all in connection with crimes committed against 43-year-old Pamela Sumpter and her brother and roommate, 46-year-old John Sumpter.

According to a timeline of events provided by the DA’s office, the investigation began on July 15, 1990, when officers with the DeKalb County Police Department (DKPD) responded to a report of a person stabbed at an apartment complex on Tree Hills Parkway in Stone Mountain. When DKPD arrived, they said they found Pamela Sumpter at a neighbor’s apartment. She was visibly injured and said she had been raped and stabbed.

Investigators said that Pamela Sumpter told officers that her brother, John Sumpter, had been stabbed as well and officers found John Sumpter deceased in the apartment next door.

Pamela Sumpter was transported to a hospital where medical professionals collected a rape kit that included DNA from her attacker, said investigators. Police then interviewed her in the hospital. Pamela Sumpter told investigators that her brother had brought a man over to their apartment and that she knew very little about him, but she was able to give police a detailed description, including that he was from Detroit, Michigan.

On Aug. 5, 1990, Pamela Sumpter died due to her injuries in a hospital and the case went cold, according to officials.

Although DNA from Pamela Sumpter’s rape kit was later submitted at the state level, it did not receive any matches, stated officials.

Then, in the spring 2023, an investigator in the DA’s office completed an audit of 50 DeKalb County unsolved homicide cases to apply for a federal grant for prosecuting cases using DNA, with Pamela Sumpter’s case being chosen as a good candidate for the grant since it contained DNA from an unknown individual, according to a news release.

After the DA’s office received the Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA grant, they worked with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to upload the DNA profile at the national level and received a match to an unprosecuted sexual assault case in Detroit from 1992.

When the DA’s office received the Detroit case file, they said they discovered that the victim identified her attacker as Perry, who was her ex-boyfriend. An investigator then located a man in Loganville, Georgia, with the same name and birthdate as the Detroit suspect.

Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit said they executed an arrest warrant and investigators said they collected a DNA sample from Perry to confirm that he was the perpetrator in the 1990 case. He was arrested without incident in Gwinnett County and remains in the DeKalb County Jail without bond at press time, according to a press release.

The DA’s office is requesting that anyone who may have further information about Kenneth Perry or the murders of John and Pamela Sumpter call the DA’s cold case tip line at 404-371-2444.



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