Roy Allen Melanson indicted for the 1974 murder of Anita Andrews

Roy Allen Melanson indicted for the 1974 murder of Anita Andrews: during a two-day hearing earlier this month, the grand jury found there was enough evidence to hold Melanson in connection with the crime.

The Anita Andrews hearing, which was held in secret, without Melanson or his defense attorney Deputy Public Defender Allison Wilensky present, included testimony from 13 witnesses, according to court documents.

Among them were former investigators who processed the original crime scene, a man who was at the bar prior to the killing, Andrews’ former neighbor and Don Winegar, the Napa Police investigator whose work was key in cracking the case.

On the night of the killing, Andrews was seen with a stranger at the bar she co-owned with her sister, Muriel Fagiani, according to court documents. Fagiani found her dead the next morning after Andrews failed to show up to work at Napa State Hospital.

Investigators launched a large-scaled investigation, but a suspect remained elusive for decades.

Last year, Winegar turned in evidence from 1974 to the California Department of Justice crime lab, court documents say. Lab technicians were able to extract DNA evidence, which they submitted to a national DNA database called CODIS.

The DNA profile matched Melanson, who was serving a life sentence at Fort Lyons Correctional Institute in Colorado for another murder. The district attorney’s office filed charges in July, and Melanson was extradited to Napa in September.

Read more here and here.

UPDATE: Melanson was found guilty of first degree murder.