Homeland man sentenced for cold case killing of neighbor

RIVERSIDE – A Homeland man was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison for killing a 67-year-old woman neighbor in Hemet more than three decades ago, when he was 17 years old.

In June, a Murrieta jury convicted Shelby Glenn Shamblin, 50, of first- degree murder in the Jan. 17, 1980, beating and strangulation of Elizabeth Crossman.

The defendant was identified as a possible suspect at the outset of the investigation because a family member had done odd jobs around the victim and her husband’s Florida Avenue property, and detectives knew Shamblin was familiar with the house and its occupants, according to Deputy District Attorney Dan DeLimon, the original prosecutor assigned to the case.

During interviews with Hemet police, Shamblin denied being anywhere near the Crossman residence, insisting that he was a runaway at the time. The case soon went cold for lack of evidence.

Forensic technicians took vaginal swabs and collected semen traces from the victim’s body, storing the evidence until 2002, when detectives submitted it to the California Department of Justice for analysis.

A DNA profile was entered into the state’s Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, with no ”hit” for about eight years. Shamblin’s DNA was identified as a match after it was collected following his arrest in October 2010 for illegal drug possession and use. He has since been convicted of those charges.

According to the D.A.’s office, the genetic evidence confirms a direct link between the defendant and the 1980 fatal assault on Crossman. A sexual assault allegation was not added to the criminal complaint because the statute of limitations had run out.

After his arrest for the crime in February 2011, Shamblin made admissions that put him at or near the Crossman household when the woman was killed, according to authorities.

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