California DOJ criminalist testifies regarding DNA evidence
BUTTE COUNTY – On February 1, 2024, a Butte County jury found Chance Andre Vincent, 28, a homeless man from Oroville, guilty on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon for attacks on two different homeless men about 54 hours apart. One of the attacks occurred in Oroville and one in Chico two days later. The jury also convicted Vincent of two special allegations that both victims suffered great bodily injury.
On September 2, 2022, a 34-year-old homeless man in Oroville was stabbed. According to the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, that victim testified during the trial that Vincent was an acquaintance he knew from around town. He only knew Vincent by his first name. On the night of the attack, Vincent and the victim left the victim’s camp on an island in Oroville’s Riverbend Park at about midnight and walked to two nearby convenience stores. The victim testified they made it back to his island camp around 1:00 a.m. when Vincent, for no apparent reason, suddenly stabbed him twice in the back. The victim described the knife as a large “Bowie” style knife. Vincent fled after the attack. The victim was saved by firefighters who were nearby taking care of a small grass fire and responded to his screams for help. The victim was taken to a hospital where he received emergency trauma care for a collapsed lung. Oroville Police began investigating but had difficulty immediately identifying and locating the then-unknown suspect.
Two days later, in Chico on September 4, at 5:45 a.m., Chico Police responded to a 911 call of a stabbing at the Chico Amtrak Depot. There officers found a homeless man lying on his back in a large pool of blood. Medical personnel responded and located several deep slashes and stab wounds to the Chico victim’s chest and back. The Chico victim was taken to a hospital where he was treated for a collapsed lung and loss of blood. Interviews with other homeless witnesses in the area lead to Vincent who was in nearby Depot Park hiding a bloody pocket knife under a shirt behind him. Vincent was arrested but denied stabbing anyone.
Police put out a press release that included Vincent’s mugshot. The Oroville victim’s fiancée saw the photo and texted it to the Oroville victim, who was still at the hospital receiving care. The Oroville victim then contacted Oroville Police and identified his attacker as the man in the Chico press release. The Chico victim and other Chico homeless witnesses could not be located to testify at Vincent’s trial. However, a criminalist from the California Department of Justice crime laboratory in Redding testified at trial that Vincent’s DNA was found on the handle of the knife recovered in Depot Park, and that the Chico victim’s DNA was found on the blade.
Vincent is currently facing another felony case for assaulting a correctional officer in the Butte County Jail while he was awaiting trial on the stabbing case. He is currently facing up to 11 years in state prison for the stabbing case, and could be facing more should he also be convicted in the jail case. His next appearance in court to determine his next trial date and sentencing will be on February 15, 2024.