Thirty years later, arrest made in 1988 Sarasota murder case

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Sarasota police announced Monday the arrest in a cold case from 1988.

On July 31, 1988, around 10:30 a.m., Sarasota police officers responded to Booker High School on Orange Avenue. They said a jogger in the area found the body of 23-year-ld Judith Elaine Doherty, and concluded she was a murder victim. 

On Monday afternoon, Chief Bernadette DiPino with the Sarasota Police Department announced the arrest of 62-year-old David Stephens, who has been in prison at the DeSoto Correctional Institution in Arcadia for a separate case from February 1989. He was sentenced to charges of armed sexual battery and burglary in a Sarasota County case.

Chief DiPino said he faces new charges: sexual battery and homicide in connection to the murder of Doherty, who was a Venice resident. 

Detectives said DNA technology did not exist at the time of the crime, but DNA left behind at the crime scene was tested at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, thus linking Stephens to the crime.