Former prisoner to face murder charges in Spokane

SPOKANE — A woman who recently completed her sentence on a federal weapons charge is back in Spokane to face allegations she killed three women in 1990.

At the time of the killings, Donna Perry was a man named Douglas Perry. She was booked into the Spokane County Jail on Friday and will face a judge next week, KXLY-TV reported.

Detectives say DNA links Perry to the slayings of three prostitutes between February and May 1990: Yolanda Sapp, Nickie Lowe and Kathleen Brisbois. Each was shot to death.

The cases went cold for years and were once thought to be connected to Spokane serial killer Robert Yates. Detectives started working on the case again in 2005 and said they linked them to Perry in 2012.

Perry underwent gender reassignment surgery in Thailand in 2000. It wasn’t immediately clear if she has a lawyer.

After Perry’s 2012 arrest by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a DNA sample taken from her was placed into the national Combined DNA Index System, a database of DNA collected from convicted offenders. It matched DNA evidence found by investigators underneath Kathy Brisbois’ fingernails, police said.

In late 2012, detectives were also able to track down a 1969 International Scout owned by Perry at the time of the killings to its current owner and were able to search the vehicle. Among the items of evidence collected from the vehicle was a single unspent .22-caliber bullet, the same caliber bullet used in the killings of Brisbois, Lowe and Sapp, investigators said.

More recently, a forensic scientist at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab in Cheney has found more DNA evidence. Fingerprints on a bottle of lubricant found in Lowe’s purse matched Perry’s, and DNA discovered on a blanket owned by Sapp matched Perry’s, Spokane County sheriff’s deputy Craig Chamberlin has said.

Perry was not allowed to have weapons or ammunition because of a string of arrests and convictions for assault and weapons charges between 1974 and 1988. Prior to the 2012 ATF raid on her home, she had been arrested for possession of firearms in 1988 and 1994. During the search of her home after her 1994 arrest, authorities seized .22-caliber handguns.

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