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Bladen County

After 19 years, a victim saw justice today in Bladen County Superior Court.

Paul Lee Oxendine of 3645 Highway 711 West, Lumberton, pled guilty to Felony Sexual Assault and Attempted Forcible Rape. He received an active sentence of a minimum 120, maximum 153 months in the NC Department of Corrections. Irene Graham Riel was the lead prosecutor in this case.

On March 9, 1996, in the early morning hours, a woman living on Berry Lewis Road near Bladenboro awoke to a knock on her door from an unknown man who asked to use the phone.  She refused, and the man forced his way into the home, assaulted her, and then fled the residence.

Investigators collected evidence, to include the victim’s clothing, and released a composite sketch of the attacker. After a thorough investigation by lead Investigator Rodney Warwick, the case eventually went cold.

A DNA profile was obtained from the clothing that was collected, and submitted to the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory. The unknown DNA profile was entered into the NCSBI’s DNA database using a computer program called CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), which is the national computer database operated jointly by state and local crime laboratories and the FBI.

Meanwhile, in 2012, Oxendine was convicted in Robeson County for Felony Breaking & Entering. He was required to give a DNA sample because of his felony conviction. Oxendine’s DNA matched the DNA profile from the crime committed in Bladen County in 1996.

The District Attorney’s office, would like to commend the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and The State Bureau of Investigation for the quality investigation that secured justice in this Cold Case.

“Law enforcement officers involved in this case remained committed to seeking justice years after this horrific incident occurred,” said District Attorney Jon David.  “The victim in this case was savagely attacked by a total stranger in the sanctity of her own home.  For nearly 19 years the identity of the perpetrator remained a mystery until DNA solved this case.”

 

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