Man who admitted killing woman in 1988 now charged with rape

Updated: Apr. 28, 2019 at 11:41 AM EDT
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - Authorities say a man in prison for nearly 18 years for killing a newspaper carrier has now been charged with her rape through more advanced DNA testing.

Beaufort County deputies said the arrest will prevent 55-year-old Eckerin Frazier from being released from prison before the new charge of first degree criminal sexual conduct is settled in court.

Frazier pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2001 in the shooting death of 60-year-old Bertha Neaman, whose body was found behind a Hilton Head Island church in 1988.

While DNA tests at the time suggested Neaman was raped, deputies said it took more modern testing to definitely determine Frazier's genetic material was found on her body.

Frazier is scheduled to be released from prison on the voluntary manslaughter charge in March 2021

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