Bail Set For Man Suspected In Jeanne Ann Childs’ 1993 Murder

Published: Feb. 15, 2019 at 7:58 PM CST
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The attorney for a hockey dad charged in a decades-old cold case murder expects his client to bond out of jail Friday.

A judge has set conditional bail at $500,000, or $1 million without conditions, for a man accused of a 1993 murder in Minneapolis, but his attorney Steven Meshbesher says charges were filed prematurely.

For 25 years, the murder of 35-year-old Jeanne Ann Childs was a mystery. She was found brutally stabbed to death in her Minneapolis apartment in 1993. DNA was collected at the scene, and now, investigators say it matches that of 52-year-old Jerry Westrom.

Westrom was arrested earlier this week, and was being held at Hennepin County Jail.

On Friday, a judge set bail and also a hearing where Westrom is next expected to appear in court for March 13. Westrom’s wife and three kids were in the courtroom. Their attorney said everyone is very sad.

“They came down here in support of him. They care about him, they believe in him,” Meshbesher said.

Meshbesher also said that prosecutors filed charges too quickly.

“You need to do the investigation first, find out what the facts are, find out what the evidence is, and then determine the charge. Now they’re charging first,” Meshbesher said.

The conditions attached to Westrom’s release would include remaining law-abiding, making all future court appearances, taking medications according to prescription, no alcohol or controlled substance use, and other applicable conditions.

According to the criminal complaint, a mixture of two or more peoples’ DNA was recovered on one of the samples taken from the crime scene.

The criminal complaint revealed DNA on several items at the crime scene and a genealogy website led them to Westrom. Investigators later pulled his DNA from a napkin thrown in the trash.

In an interview after his arrest, Westrom denied being in the apartment. He said he did not know the victim, and said he did not have sex with any women in Minneapolis in 1993. When confronted with the DNA evidence, he told investigators he had no idea why his DNA would be present at that scene.