Sex offender gets 11 years for Portland Cold Case killing - KPTV - FOX 12

Sex offender gets 11 years for Portland Cold Case killing

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Walter Wayne Howard will serve 11 years for the death of Renee Harvey in 1988. (KPTV) Walter Wayne Howard will serve 11 years for the death of Renee Harvey in 1988. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A registered sex offender was sentenced to 11 years in prison for killing his Portland neighbor in a former cold case solved thanks to DNA evidence.

Renee Harvey, 25, was strangled to death in her southeast Portland apartment in 1988.

The case went unsolved for decades, until Portland Police detectives arrested Walter Wayne Howard in 2014.

Howard pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter in the first degree earlier this month.

He was sentenced on his 61st birthday.

Harvey’s father and the director of her church choir spoke during the sentencing hearing.

Just a few days before Harvey was killed, detectives say someone broke into her home and she believed it was committed Howard, her upstairs neighbor.

Harvey, a singer and actress, was in the process of moving out of her apartment because of the burglary when she was killed.

The original investigators suspected Howard was involved in Harvey’s death, but did not have enough evidence to arrest him at the time.

Portland Cold Case Homicide Unit detectives began reexamining the case and submitted blood evidence for new testing. Police said lab experts found a DNA match to Howard, who was living in San Diego.

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