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DNA Evidence Helps Lead To Conviction In Three Decade Old Cold Case Murder On South Coast

A man already serving a life without parole term in prison has entered a no contest plea to the sexual assault, and murder of a woman more than three decades ago in Ventura County.

On September 28th, 1985 someone sexually assaulted Isabel Hernandez in her West Gonzales Road apartment in Oxnard, and then stabbed the 19 year old woman to death.

After detectives left the scene, witnesses reported seeing Vincent Mackey burglarizing the victim’s apartment. However, there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges against the 22 year old man.

Mackey was convicted of the 1986 murder of James Sprigg in El Rio, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Hernandez case went unsolved. In 2014, Oxnard Police detective Mike Young re-opened the case, and submitted some items from the crime scene for DNA testing which wasn’t available in the 1980’s.

Prosecutors say the DNA linked Mackey to the sexual assault, and murder. After entering the no contest plea, it’s expected he will received a second life in prison without the possibility of parole sentence when he appears in court next month.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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