Bag of Chips Helps Police Identify Man Suspected of Murder

Latent prints were pulled from a bag of potato chips seen purchased just before the shooting

Dorian Killebrew, mugshot.
Dallas County Jail/NBC 5 News

A bag of Ruffles potato chips and a witness who said, "it got to be that motherf*" helped Dallas police clear a murder case dating back to April of this year.

On April 17, 37-year-old Christopher Franklin was found shot to death in a Dallas apartment known for being a place where illegal drugs were sold.

A witness came forward that night and led police to the crime scene and ultimately provided homicide detectives with information that led to the arrest of a suspect -- including that he'd bought junk food at a nearby convenience store not long before the shooting.

According to the witness, 19-year-old Dorian Markal Killebrew, aka Pyrex, got into an argument with Franklin inside the apartment at about 4:30 a.m. During the dispute, the witness said Killebrew pulled out a gun and shot Franklin multiple times.

The witness, whose name has not been released, told police after the shooting he ran to a different location and called 911. The witness then took police officers to the apartment on Marsalis Avenue where Dallas police found Franklin's body.

During an interview with police, the witness said Killebrew went to a convenience store on Colorado Street before the shooting and bought some junk food. Detectives visited the Colorado Stop Store on Lancaster and obtained surveillance video of the suspect that showed him buying a bag of Ruffles potato chips.

A detective remembered seeing a bag of Ruffles at the crime scene and asked that it be processed for latent fingerprints.

Police said in an arrest warrant affidavit that Killebrew's latent prints were found not only on the bag, but at other locations in the apartment as well.

During a subsequent interview with detectives, the witness was hesitant to identify Killebrew as the shooter and told police he feared for his life. Still, after looking at a photo lineup, the witness confirmed the man's identity to investigators.

"Witness 1 came to the suspect photo and looked at the photo for about five minutes, placed the photo to his face, held it on the wall, and walked around with the photo, repeatedly saying that he feared for his life as he looked at the suspect's photo," detectives recalled in the affidavit. "Witness 1 held the picture in the air and started reenacting out the events that had occurred inside the apartment. The witness continued to say he feared for his life."

The witness then suddenly said, "no" to the photo and did not positively identify anyone out of the lineup. When the lineup administrator left the room, the witness stated, "it got to be that motherf*."

A short time later the witness asked to see the lineup again. A different administrator was called in, to remove bias, and while waiting the witness said, "that's the motherf*, I already know it." When the new administrator arrived, the witness identified Killebrew as the man who shot and killed Franklin and, while identifying him, continued to say how he feared for his life.

A second witness also came forward and told police he heard that Pyrex was responsible for Franklin's death and identified him from a photo lineup.

Eight months after the murder, Killebrew was arrested Tuesday, Dec. 17. During an interview with detectives, officials said Killebrew admitted to his role in Franklin's murder and he was booked into the Dallas County Jail where he is being held on $250,000 bond.

It's not clear if Killebrew has obtained an attorney.

CrimeStoppers had issued a reward of $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.

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