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Massachusetts Man Allegedly Used Sweet Potato As Silencer In 2011 Cold Case Murder, Prosecutor Says

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Source: Barnstable Police Department; UNSPLASH

Feb. 28 2023, Published 2:20 p.m. ET

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A sweet potato helped investigators identify a suspect in a cold case murder in Massachusetts, prosecutors said.

On Feb. 27, 12 years to the day Todd Lampley was fatally shot in Hyannis, Devarus Hampton, 40, was arrested and arraigned for the murder, ABC News reported.

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In 2011, detectives recovered at the crime scene three shell casings, a cell phone and a sweet potato that had a hole through it.

"The sweet potato appears to be used as a silencer," First Assistant District Attorney Jessica Elumba told ABC News.

According to the outlet, Elumba told the court DNA on the sweet potato helped identify Hampton as a suspect, and he was wearing a GPS monitor when he allegedly killed Hampton at the victim’s home.

She did not say why he wasn’t arrested at the time of the slaying.

A sweet potato was once used as a silencer in an episode of the hit HBO series The Wire, and the cell phone found at the crime scene was registered to Marlo Stanfield, a character on the series.

“It's an interesting fact pattern,” Elumba said

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Hampton was being held without bail. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.


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