Thumbprint on toilet leads to life term in Virginia slaying

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A thumbprint left on a toilet seat at a murder scene has finally led to a life sentence in a decades-old murder case.

The Virginian-Pilot reports Daniel Johnston was convicted by a jury Thursday of first-degree murder in the 1981 slaying of 20-year-old Donna Walker. Prosecutors say Johnston stabbed Walker nearly 50 times at her Norfolk home and left a thumbprint on her toilet seat when he lifted it to use the bathroom.

Prosecutor Phil Evans emphasized the thumbprint's importance. He says Johnson also quit his funeral home job and left town just before Walker's body was found.

Corrections records say Johnston spent the last 32 years in a New York prison for murder, sex abuse and assault. He was indicted in Walker's death in 2016.


Information from: The Virginian-Pilot.