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Massachusetts man charged in cold case murder with multiple links to HBO’s ‘The Wire,’ including possible potato silencer: Police

Devarus Hampton appearing in court on Monday (via WVCB screenshot)

Devarus Hampton appearing in court on Monday (via WVCB screenshot)

A 40-year-old man in Massachusetts has been arrested for a 2011 cold-case murder that authorities say has several ties to the critically acclaimed HBO crime drama “The Wire.” Devarus Hampton was taken into custody on Feb. 24 and charged with one count each of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Todd Lampley, Cape & Islands District Attorney Robert J. Galibois on Friday announced.

According to a press release from the Barnstable Police Department, officers on the evening of Feb. 27, 2011, responded to an emergency call about a possible shooting at a residence located in the 10 block of Fresh Holes Road, in Hyannis, which is located on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod peninsula.

Upon arriving at the scene, first responders say they located Lampley in a bedroom inside of the residence unconscious and bleeding after suffering from what appeared to be several gunshot wounds. Medics pronounced Lampley dead at the scene.

A handgun believed to be the murder weapon was later found to have been tossed in a nearby pond.

According to a report from Boston ABC affiliate WCVB-TV, prosecutors said that investigators at the residence found a phone which was “attached to” the name Marlo Stanfield. Marlo Stanfield is the name of a fictional character in “The Wire,” who headed up the most ruthless and feared drug ring in Baltimore.

In another nod to “The Wire,” authorities also reportedly said that they recovered a sweet potato from the scene of the fatal shooting. In season four of the HBO show, one of the fictional police investigators solves a murder in which the shooter used a potato as a makeshift silencer when fatally shooting his victim.

It was not immediately clear if the phone was connected to Hampton, but prosecutors reportedly sent the potato recovered from the Lampley murder scene for DNA analysis and discovered that the root vegetable tested positive for Hampton’s DNA, WVCB reported.

In addition to the DNA evidence, prosecutors reportedly said that at the time of Lampley’s slaying, Hampton was wearing a court-ordered GPS device that tracked his whereabouts. The location data from that device placed Hampton at the Fresh Holes Road residence at the approximate time of the murder and later at the pond where the gun was recovered.

According to a 2011 report from Cape Wide News, Lampley was inside of his home at night when he was shot by someone standing outside of his bedroom window, a possible third link to “The Wire.” In season one of the show, a fictitious woman who is cooperating with police is killed when the shooter stands outside of her window at night, taps the glass to get her attention, waits for her to approach the window, and then fires a fatal shot into the home.

Hampton and Lampley also had a previous connection, with Hampton testifying in court that Lampley was involved in the July 2007 murder of Jacques Sellers in the same neighborhood, CWN reported. Sellers was also reportedly shot inside his home by someone shooting through a window from outside.

Hampton appeared in Barnstable District Court on Monday where he entered a plea of not guilty. He is scheduled to appear in court again on April 5.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.