DNA links career criminal to ’10 attempted murder

Officials say Joseph Ryan’s blood was found on a wood club.

Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 9:36 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 11:14 a.m.

Detectives said DNA evidence found on both ends of a wood club used nearly a year ago in a home invasion robbery has connected a career criminal with the crime.

According to the Gainesville Police Department, the attack occurred in April 2010 at a home in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood. Officers found the club outside the home and suspected it had been used to beat the homeowner while he was being robbed of hundreds of dollars in cash. The victim still is recovering from the beating.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement analyzed substances found on the club and matched the blood found on one end as being that of the victim. DNA on the other end came from a man being held at the Alachua County jail on another, unrelated case, Officer Benjamin Smith said.

The jailed man, Joseph Ryan, 55, a homeless Gainesville resident, was questioned, Smith said, and said he knew nothing about the club, the home where the crimes took place or about the victim.

Ryan was charged Tuesday with attempted murder and home invasion robbery.

Florida Department of Corrections records show Ryan has served six prison terms since 1974 for convictions including robbery with a firearm, burglary, grand theft auto and escape. He was released most recently from prison in July 2008. The prison system also listed aliases Ryan apparently has used in the past, including Kevin Bernard Howard and Byron Wilson.

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