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Man who Raped, Stabbed Pregnant Woman Gets Death Penalty

The 1988 murder was solved using DNA.

A man who raped and fatally stabbed a pregnant newlywed in her Costa Mesa apartment was sentenced to death today.

Jason Michael Balcom, 43, was already serving a 50-year prison sentence in Michigan for another rape when he was linked by DNA to the July 18, 1988, murder of Malinda Gibbons.

Gibbons and her husband, Kent, had just moved from Utah to the Mediterranean Village apartment complex at 2404 Harbor Blvd. She was unpacking while her husband was at work when Balcom attacked her amid a clutter of baby furniture the couple had recently bought, according to Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy.

Balcom punched Malinda Gibbons in the face, then gathered belts, ties and straps from around the apartment to bind her, Murphy said. He stuffed a tie in her mouth, raped her and repeatedly stabbed her in the chest, the prosecutor said.

Murphy said that on July 24, 1988, Balcom burst into a Santa Ana woman's home armed with a rifle and raped her. Two days later, he moved back to Battle Creek, Mich., with his family, leaving two pregnant teenage girlfriends behind, according to Murphy.

On Sept. 2, 1988, he put a pellet gun to the face of a woman in her car on her way to work in Michigan, forced his way into the vehicle and raped her, Murphy said.

Balcom was caught the next day when he got into a traffic collision.

--City News Story

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