BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A man who had been convicted to rape and manslaughter in unrelated cases has now pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, in the 1994 death of 29-year-old Cynthia Epps.
The Erie County District Attorney's Office says 54-year-old James Fountain admits to stabbing and killing the woman in June of 1994, on Montana Street. Around the time of the murder, Fountain had reported "finding" the body, that was wrapped inside a blanket in a table next to his garage.
Fountain had denied any knowledge of or contact with the victim, and cooperated with the police investigation.
In 2010, the case was re opened and detectives learned that Fountain had a 1977 conviction, in Queens County, for second-degree Manslaughter, that the defendant had a 1984 conviction, in New York County, for first-degree Rape; that defendant had a 1996 conviction, in Erie County, for first-degree Attempted Rape; and, that the defendant was at the Central New York Psychiatric Center in Marcy, NY, having been placed in indefinite civil confinement.
From Fountain's DNA sample in the state DNA data bank, Fountain was matched to Epps.
When detectives re questioned Fountain he denied having contact with Epps, but he eventually confessed when confronted with the DNA results. The D.A.'s office says Fountain admitted to repeatedly stabbing the victim after a sexual encounter. Fountain also admitted that he tried to sever the victim's head and right leg in an attempt to more easily dispose of her body.
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