Cuyahoga County

DNA Evidence Leads to Charges in 2004 Murder


Convicted sex offender Donald Pryor charged with aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping in the 2004 death of Allura Robinson

July 1, 2013

DNA evidence obtained after a 2012 sexual battery conviction has helped investigators crack a murder case that is nearly nine years old.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Richard Bell announced that a grand jury has indicted Donald Pryor on aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping charges stemming from the August 2004 slaying of East Cleveland resident Allura Robinson.

Robinson was 31 years old when her partially clothed body was found on August 13 of that year in a row of bushes on Elderwood Avenue in East Cleveland. A white leather belt was wrapped around her neck. Her cause of death was reported as “Ligature strangulation.”

The coroner’s office found DNA from two people on the belt. The major contributor was Robinson. The profile of the second contributor was uploaded to the CODIS data base in 2005, but there was no immediate match.

In August 2011, Pryor, now 56, of Cleveland, was charged with rape, sexual battery, robbery and two counts of kidnapping of an East Cleveland woman. He was convicted in January 2012 of sexual battery and sentenced to four years in prison. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections subsequently collected Pryor’s DNA, created a profile and entered that information into the CODIS offender data base.

That in turn produced the lead which enabled the East Cleveland Police Department and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to reopen the investigation into Robinson’s death and led to these indictments.

“Our office and East Cleveland police reviewed the old 2004 reports and found the witness who last saw the victim and her killer walk down the street. A photo array was shown and our killer was picked out,’’ said Bell, chief of the investigative division at the prosecutor’s office. “Congratulations to Law Enforcement — everyone did their job and this man will now be held accountable for his crime.”

Bell continued, “I’m sure Pryor thought he would get away with it. The crime occurred around 2 a.m., no eyewitness to the murder, no police knocking on his door. He even felt comfortable enough to sexually assault another victim. Hopefully criminals are getting the point— if you rape and kill, law-enforcement will catch you and hold you accountable for your crime.”

Pryor’s arraignment is set for July 16, 2013.

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communication and Public Policy or Maria (Pinzone) Russo, Public Information Officer, Phone: (216) 698-2819      

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