Clayton, MO (KSDK)-- A St. Louis County jury has convicted a Springfield businessman in the 1985 rape and murder of a small town Ozarks woman who was also a former beauty pageant contestant.
52 year old Gerald Carnahan will spend the rest of his life in prison after jurors found him guilty of first degree murder and forcible rape of the victim. Originally; prosecutors intended on seeking a death penalty for Carnahan, but later decided against seeking capital punishment at the insistence of the victims elderly father.
Carnahan will be formally sentenced October 25th by St Louis County Judge Michael Jamison. The case was moved to Clayton due to extensive publicity over the past quarter century on the Ozarks of southwest Missouri.
Jackie Johns was last seen leaving a convenience store near her Nixa Missouri home in June 1985. Dozens of investigators worked endless hours trying to build their case around Carnahan who was a suspect almost immediately.
It wasn't until August 2007 when a DNA test matched that of Gerald Carnahan.
Along with the mandatory life sentence with no chance of probation or parole on the murder charge, jurors also ordered Carnahan serve a second life prison term on the forcible rape conviction.