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Acquitted man faces charges

A 78-year-old man recently acquitted of bludgeoning to death a blind homemaker in upstate New York in 1972 will be prosecuted in federal court today on charges he failed to register as a sex offender in Florida, authorities said.

Willie James Kimble, a twice-convicted sexual predator, will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Rochester on a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, Monroe County prosecutor Sandra Doorley revealed in court Monday.

Kimble was acquitted March 10 of sexually assaulting and beating to death Annie Mae Cray, 52, at her home in Rochester on Oct. 29, 1972.

In 2009, police obtained a DNA match from a semen-stained blanket that had been kept in police storage for almost 38 years. Kimble, who is distantly related to the Crays, skipped town while the murder was being re-examined. He was tracked down in his native Sarasota, Fla., in January 2010.

A Rochester jury deliberated for four hours before clearing Kimble of second-degree murder. But he was immediately ordered held on a state charge of violating his sexual-offender status. The upcoming federal charge would supersede the state charge, which carries a maximum sentence range of one year and four months to four years in prison.

Kimble spent two decades in prison, including seven years for the attempted rape of a 6-year-old girl in July 1973 and 10 years for raping a 17-year-old girl in 1981.

Police said Cray answered a knock on the front door at 6 that morning, evidently recognizing the caller's voice. Her husband, Ezra, said the intruder clubbed him unconscious with a firewood log that was used to crush his wife's skull. Ezra Cray, who died in 1990, told police he didn't see his attacker but suspected Kimble.

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