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Man suspected of murdering young woman in 1979 appears in court

Prentice Foreman appears Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, in Kern County court in Bakersfield, Calif., to face a charge of murder in the 1979 death of a young woman, 18-year-old Dawn Koons. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

The man arrested this week for allegedly murdering a young woman nearly 40 years ago was in court Friday morning.

Prentice Foreman, 60, is charged with first-degree murder.

Dawn Koons, 18, was found dead in her apartment in January 1979. She was naked and bound in her bathtub with a phone cord around her neck.

Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin said DNA collected by detectives back in 1979 was re-examined in recent years with current technology, and the case was re-examined by detectives with fresh eyes. A probable cause document shows the DNA used to connect Foreman to the murder came from semen.

DA Lisa Green at a Thursday news conference wouldn't comment on Foreman's connection to Koons or why they believe Foreman murdered Koons.

“No case is cold to us,” Martin said at the same news conference.

The Kern County court website shows a dozen prior cases for Foreman, mostly misdemeanors. He's collectively been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison over the years for a variety of convictions, including drug possession, a weapons violation and petty theft.

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