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Man found guilty of 2012 murder, rape of Berkeley grandmother

It took police years to find a match to DNA found at the scene of the crime and another year before the case went to trial

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A man could spend the rest of his life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering and raping a Berkeley grandmother back in April of 2012.

Kavion Thomas, 29, was found guilty of second-degree murder and forcible rape, bringing answers to the family of Patti Harvill more than seven years after she was killed.

After more than two hours, a St. Louis County jury found Thomas guilty of raping and murdering Patti Harvill.

Thomas was found not guilty of forcible sodomy.

“It’s been the worst seven and a half years of my life. I’ve never visualized myself going through this. Our family finally has closure. I can finally grieve after seven and a half years and that means the world to me,” said Anthony Harvill.

Family members found Harvill, a 61-year-old grandmother, dead in her Berkeley home in 2012. There was no sign of forced entry to the home.

Berkeley police discovered DNA at the scene, but it took years for police to find a match.

In October of 2014 in Lexington, Kentucky, a 50-year-old man was bludgeoned to death inside an old carwash. Kavion Thomas was one of three men charged. Thomas was found guilty of murder and sent to prison. His DNA was sent to a national database, used for linking violent crimes.

In July of 2017, the grieving north St. Louis County family got a call. There had been a DNA match linking Thomas to the DNA at Patti Harvill’s crime scene.

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On Thursday, he was found guilty of second-degree murder and second-degree rape for the attack. His sentencing was set for Feb. 21.

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