Attorney General Mike Hunter has filed first-degree murder charges in a 33-year-old cold case involving a brutal murder in Lincoln County, Okla.
Paul Aikman was stabbed to death at a rest stop on the Turner Turnpike in September 1985. At the time of the murder, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s (OSBI) agents collected cigarette butts from the crime scene, along with latent prints. A DNA profile was developed from one of the cigarette butts; however, the case eventually went cold.
Last year, OSBI criminalists at the Forensic Science Center notified agents that during a search of CODIS, the national DNA database, a potential DNA hit was obtained and matched 55-year-old Earl Wilson. Criminalists then matched the latent print impression taken from the crime scene to Wilson.
“Advances in DNA technology are allowing authorities to take another look at these difficult cases,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Just because cases go cold doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t be held responsible, even after three decades. I appreciate OSBI Director Ricky Adams, who has put a priority on these cases through the development of the Cold Case Unit.”
Wilson, 55, is currently incarcerated in Oklahoma Department of Corrections custody for unrelated crimes.
“For 35 years, Paul Aikman’s family has ached not knowing who was responsible for his murder,” said OSBI Director Ricky Adams. “35 years have passed, but we have not forgotten about Paul. Thanks to science and determined police work by OSBI agents and our Cold Case Unit, we are pleased to announce that the suspect in Paul’s murder has been identified. I would like to give thanks Attorney General Hunter and his staff for taking this case, filing a murder charge and giving a voice to Paul and his family.”
The Lincoln County case number is CF-2020-160.
All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.