A judge ordered a Franklin County man Monday to stand trial in the 1982 murder of Judy Lynn Spencer, the Houston High School graduated who was found murdered along a Dent County road.
The case took a major turn in late March when Donald R. “Doc” Nash of Beaufort, 65, was arrested after authorities said DNA evidence found under the fingernails of the then 21-year-old hospital employee was linked to the suspect. He is held on $750,000 cash bond in the case.
Ted Bruce, an assistant attorney general, outlined evidence during the hearing aimed at showing Nash was involved in the death. Bruce specializes in capital crimes where life in prison without the chance of parole or the death penalty could be instituted.
A link to Nash came in November when H. James Folsom, a state patrol sergeant, submitted physical evidence to the Missouri State Highway Patrol lab in Jefferson City. The examination, according to court documents, found an unidentified male DNA profile under fingernail clippings taken from Spencer’s left hand.
Folsom later obtained a swap of Nash’s DNA from his residence on March 13. On March 19, the crime lab determined that Nash’s DNA was found under the left hand fingernails of Spencer.
Associate Circuit Judge Randy P. Schuller, hearing the case on an assignment from the Missouri Supreme Court, determined that there was probable cause to believe that Nash might have committed the crime.
Nash is to appear for formal arraignment on May 5.