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A Jacksonville man is to be sentenced Aug. 25 after pleading guilty to second degree murder in the 1979 murder of Karen Johnson, a cold case that the State Bureau of Investigation recently reopened using new forensic technology.

Special Investigator Tony Cummings, a retired SBI homicide agent, was able to connect Roger Gene Pollard of Virginia Beach to the murder of Johnson through DNA evidence.

“Up until the late ’80s, we could get the blood type and the blood grouping, but no definitive identification to the level that DNA does now,” Cummings said. “The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office had properly maintained the physical evidence and we were able to get a match with Pollard’s DNA.”

On Aug. 10, Pollard used an Alford plea of guilt in Onslow County Superior Court.

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