A bedridden Iberville Parish man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the killing of a Jefferson Parish woman 33 years ago.
Donnie London, 62, was arrested at an Iberville Parish nursing home in January 2016 after the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, while conducting a review of cold cases, genetically linked London to the killing of Elma Kolman.
The victim was 73 when her body was found in a vacant lot near her Monticello Avenue home on April 7, 1984.
London was sentenced this week to 21 years in prison — the penalty for manslaughter at the time he committed the crime — in 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna by Judge Steven Grefer.
Kolman was reported missing the day before her body was discovered. An autopsy found she had died of asphyxia and strangulation and had suffered traumatic injuries while being sexually assaulted.
The investigation stalled, however.
More than three decades later, JPSO Deputy Dennis Thornton discovered that the genetic profile of Kolman’s attacker, created by the crime lab from a piece of her clothing, matched London’s DNA, which had since been entered into federal law enforcement databases.
Thornton discovered that London, who has a criminal history with 11 felony arrests, including rape, had lived in New Orleans near Kolman’s home in Jefferson at the time she was killed.
Deputies said London told investigators he saw Kolman walking near the vacant lot in the 300 block of Monticello the day she was killed and tried to rob her. When she resisted, he raped and killed her, they said.
He was charged with murder but pleaded to the lesser crime of manslaughter.