Kevin Thomas Ford.
Kevin Thomas Ford, who faces trial in a three-decade-old San Diego murder. Photo via Robeson County Sheriff’s Office

Testimony wrapped up Friday in the cold-case trial of a North Carolina man accused of raping and murdering an elderly woman.

Kevin Thomas Ford, 63, faces charges of murder with a special-circumstance allegation of murder during a rape. The trial stems from the May 20, 1987, strangling death of Grace Hayden, 79, in Normal Heights.

Last year, investigators with the District Attorney’s Office’s identified Ford as a suspect through DNA. Prosecutors say other evidence included a single fingerprint he allegedly left on Hayden’s stovetop.

Trial testimony indicated that Ford’s fingerprint did not yield results on a San Diego County database. But when submitted to a national database, investigators found a match in connection with Ford’s 2015 arrest in North Carolina for making criminal threats.

Police arrested him in the summer of 2018.

His murder trial began earlier this week at the downtown San Diego courthouse. Closing arguments are slated to be delivered Tuesday morning. He remains in custody without bail.

– City News Service