DNA links man serving time for robbery in NJ to Richmond murder

Updated: Oct. 12, 2017 at 12:05 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A man serving a four-year sentence in New Jersey was arrested this week in connection to a killing in Richmond 30 years ago.

James Copeland, 64, is charged with first-degree murder after DNA linked him to the 1987 stabbing death of Roberta Fisch Poortje.

Poortje, a who ran a jewerly business, was found stabbed several times in her home on Stuart Avenue in August 1987.

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Learned Barry says a forensic detective ran fingernail clippings collected from the murder scene, which made a connection to Copeland, who was serving a sentence for grand larceny in New Jersey.

Copeland was arraigned on Wednesday and denied bond in Richmond. He's currently being held at Richmond's city jail.

A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 29.

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