'Early Morning Rapist' Gets 144-Year Jail Sentence


The process of getting "Early Morning Rapist" James Daniel III through his trial proceedings was not a simple one. But his trial wrapped this week with a 144-years-to-life prison sentence.

Prosecutors impressed upon the court Daniel's habit of committing violence against women. Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge David Matia, reflecting on Daniel's widely recorded history, noted that he "does not waste much time between being released from prison and committing another crime."

From our earlier report:

Following through on an investigation that combined a great deal of modern technology and traditional gumshoe police work, Cleveland and Lakewood police today announced that James Daniel, the man arrested for the Sept. 2 attack and rape on West 104th Street, has been connected via DNA to an Aug. 30 attack and rape on Warren Road in Lakewood. Investigators also connected him to a 2000 rape on Cleveland's eastside. Lakewood Police Chief Timothy Malley added that Daniel is being investigated for an aggravated robbery from 2010 in that city.

Described as a "serial criminal," Daniel had been suspected of the Lakewood rape ever since the crime in Cleveland, widely reported to the public, was brought to light.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty extolled the dozens of investigators who put in "hundreds of combined hours" over just the past two weeks. He said that this sort of investigation might have taken months in the past, but the widespread presence of cameras throughout the westside and advances in DNA processing contributed to a quick consensus. 

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