General Crime

* Melvin Lane, Jr. Pleads Not Guilty to Alleged Murder of Thomas Proctor in Oakland

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A 57-year-old man pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge for allegedly fatally stabbing a man in Oakland 32 years ago. Melvin Lane, Jr., is accused of murdering 38-year-old Thomas Proctor on East 17th St. in Oakland on Aug. 2, 1980. He also faces a use of a deadly weapon clause for allegedly using a knife to kill Proctor.

The case remained unsolved for more than 30 years until authorities recently obtained DNA evidence that connects Lane to Proctor’s death, according to Alameda County District Attorney spokeswoman Teresa Drenick. Lane, who is being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail, is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on Dec. 3 for a pretrial hearing. Oakland police declined to talk about the case today.

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