For more than three decades, the March 1974 rape and murder of Barbara Lloyd went unsolved. Then, in 2007, the Buffalo Police Department performed DNA tests on pubic hairs found at the scene of the crime. Investigators then surreptitiously trailed a suspect, Lloyd’s brother-in-law, Leon Chatt, until he unwittingly provided a DNA sample of his own — by spitting on the sidewalk. The DNA proved a match, and Chatt was charged with murder. A jury convicted Chatt, and the court sentenced him to 25-years-to-life in prison.
Chatt challenged his conviction on several grounds, including that he was prejudiced by the 33-year gap between the crime and his indictment. A unanimous panel of the New York Appellate Division, 4th Department, last week disagreed and rejected his appeal.