NEW YORK – Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Sunday authorities would seek an indictment against a bouncer with a long rap sheet, the prime suspect in last month's gruesome slaying of a graduate student.
Blood found on the plastic ties used to bind Imette St. Guillen has been matched to a bouncer at the bar where she was last seen alive, the New York Police Department commissioner said.
Kelly said authorities would take that match and other evidence to a grand jury to get an indictment against Darryl Littlejohn. He didn't give a date for when the grand jury would get the case.
Littlejohn, in custody at a Rikers Island jail on a parole violation, had not been arrested in connection with St. Guillen's death as of Sunday afternoon.
The 41-year-old maintains his innocence. His attorney, Kevin O'Donnell, has said the parolee "feels like a scapegoat" and is "upset" because his picture has been published in newspapers across the country.
Littlejohn was a bouncer at The Falls bar, where the manager has told police he ordered him to escort the woman out when she stayed sipping a drink past the 4 a.m. closing time; he recalled hearing the pair arguing before they disappeared through a side door.
Sometime during the next 17 hours, the student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan was raped, strangled and suffocated. Her naked and bound body was found in a remote section of Brooklyn on Feb. 25 with a sock stuffed in her mouth and her head wrapped with packaging tape.
Kelly said the plastic ties were used to bind the 24-year-old's hands behind her back. He wouldn't comment on how blood got onto the restraints but said, "It is a very important piece of evidence for us."
Kelly said witnesses also reported seeing Littlejohn and St. Guillen leaving the bar together and records put his cell phone near where her body was found.
A St. Guillen family spokesman did not have a comment about the case on Sunday.
Records show Littlejohn's first brush with the law came at age 17, when he robbed someone with a shotgun. Over the years, he was convicted on drug and gun charges using names like Darryl Banks, John Handsome and Jonathan Blaze — the name of a comic book character.
His aunt Addie Harris has defended him publicly in the St. Guillen case, arguing, "Many people have a record, but that doesn't mean he committed that type of crime."
Littlejohn shouldn't have been working at the bar St. Guillen visited because the job kept him out past his 9 p.m. parole curfew.