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Police: DNA a match in slaying case

LAWRENCEVILLE - A man incarcerated in Indiana for the shooting deaths of two women has been linked by DNA to a fatal stabbing in Norcross.

The GBI crime lab has confirmed a DNA sample taken from 27-year-old Anton Johnson matches DNA from a drop of blood in the apartment where a single mother was killed in 2003, authorities said.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said Friday he may seek the death penalty for Johnson. He wants to review Johnson's criminal history before reaching a conclusion, but investigative reports from Gwinnett County police and authorities in Indiana have yet to arrive.

"We're going to make some decisions on if this a case we're going to seek the death penalty on," Porter said. "That's really the only meaningful issue at this point."

Prosecuting Johnson could present a danger to the community because it would mean transporting a violent felon hundreds of miles to Georgia to stand trial. Someone facing a life sentence or the death penalty has nothing to lose in an attempted escape, which is a concern for Porter.

It is possible Johnson will never be paroled in Indiana, and Porter could opt not to prosecute him at all.

Johnson is accused of stabbing 30-year-old Aisha Davis more than 20 times inside her Norcross apartment on Dec. 5, 2003. The motive for the slaying is unclear. Authorities said Johnson and Davis were acquaintances.

Davis was living alone in Alexander Apartments off Montrose Parkway while her daughter, then 4 years old, was in the temporary custody of Davis' ex-boyfriend elsewhere in Norcross. Johnson was staying with his cousin in the same complex, said Detective J.D. Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Police officers who were sent to check on Davis' welfare discovered her body, but they were unable to identify any suspects and the case soon went cold. In March, Smith searched a national DNA database for convicted felons and discovered that Johnson's DNA profile matched a drop of the suspect's blood from the crime scene.

Johnson is serving a life sentence at Indiana State Prison for fatally shooting two other women in Gary, Ind., in January 2003.

Smith traveled to Indiana and swabbed Johnson's mouth to obtain a saliva sample for an official DNA test. The GBI crime lab has since confirmed a match and a murder warrant has been obtained.

Afia Stevens, the 33-year-old sister of Aisha Davis, said she has mixed feelings about whether Johnson deserves the death penalty.

"I don't have a firm position on whether I'm in favor of the death penalty or not," Stevens said. "What's really my main concern is that in 40 or 50 years when he is up for parole, while I believe the likelihood of him being granted parole is slim, I'd still like to be assured that he's never going to leave prison."