NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A career criminal has been indicted in the 1993 killing of a New York City social worker.

Gordon Francis, 54, of Queens, pleaded not guilty to murder Wednesday in the death of 50-year-old James Hawkins, prosecutors said.

Hawkins was found dead in his Chelsea apartment on Aug. 15, 1993. He had been stabbed 25 times in the neck, chest and abdomen, prosecutors said.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reports

Hawkins also suffered defensive wounds and cuts to both sides of his mouth, gums, and tongue, prosecutors said.

“This was a horrific crime that left the victim’s family seeking justice for nearly two decades,” said District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

He added that re-interviews of numerous witnesses and new forensic techniques led to Francis’ arrest.

Francis had served prison time for rape, robbery and kidnapping following a conviction in 1983. He was sentenced to eight to 16 years in prison and was released on parole a few months before Hawkins was killed.