Guilty Verdict Reached in Larry Banks Trial

September 23, 2009 7:18:13 PM PDT
A valley family is finally rejoicing -- 32-years after their sister's murder. A Fresno County Jury on Wednesday convicted Larry Banks of killing Susan Vallin in 1977.Larry Banks is now facing life in prison. The jury convicted the 56-year-old after deliberating less than half a day. The prosecutor accused Banks of raping and murdering Susan Vallin 32-years ago in a Fresno alley.

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Jennie Vallin brought pictures of her sister- Susan to the hearing where Banks was convicted of first degree murder. Jennie said, "He took my niece's mother away, but he is not going to take anybody else from anybody else. He took too much already."

Action News cameras were at the scene the night of May 10, 1977. Investigators found the victim sexually assaulted and her throat slashed. Police preserved the clothing she wore that night. In 1999, technicians tested it for DNA evidence. Just last year, a match came back to Banks. Lynmarc Jenkins prosecuted the case. Jenkins said, "We would not have known about Larry Banks but for his DNA left on her body, so it took time, but the forensic evidence was able to convict him of this crime."

The defense always questioned the DNA evidence saying two small stains can not connect Banks to the murder, but her family feels investigators got the right man. Jennie said, "I just want him to stay in prison for the rest of his life. The rest of my family wants him for the death penalty, but my sister Susie wouldn't want that."

The defense attorney did not talk with the media after the hearing. Banks was already sentenced to more than 30-years in prison for a 1994 robbery. The man will learn his new punishment on October 22.

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