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Holyoke man pleads guilty to 1983 Malden slaying

Posted by Jarret Bencks  April 25, 2013 06:18 PM

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A Holyoke man has pleaded guilty to a 1983 killing at a Malden motel, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Shawn Marsh, 48, of Holyoke, pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter on Thursday in connection to the shooting of 29-year-old Rodney C. Wyman at the Town Line Inn in August 1983, the announcement said. Marsh appeared before Middlesex Superior Court Judge Thomas Billings, who handed down a sentence of 15 to 18 years in prison.

Using two advanced fingerprint databases, investigators were able to solve a 29-year-old Malden homicide case, according to the Middlesex County District Attorneys office.

Fingerprints were collected at the scene during the initial investigation, but authorities were unable to find a match. In 2011, searches of two fingerprint databases maintained at the federal level, the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, matched Marsh's prints to those found at the scene, prosecutors said.

On August 22, 1983, Marsh and another suspect -- who was not identified by authorities -- went to the motel at 735 Broadway, planning to rob Wyman and his roommate, according to prosecutors. Wyman, who was from Simsbury, Conn., was shot in the chest and pronounced dead at Malden Hospital.

In a statement, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan credited the investigative team on the case, and Wyman's family for their vigilance.

"[Marsh] has been held accountable for his actions because of the incredible commitment of the investigative team who pursued every lead and every new technological advance, along with the family of the victim, who never gave up hope that the person responsible for the death of their loved one would someday be brought to justice," Ryan said.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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