An Isanti, Minn., man was sentenced to life in prison last week in a long-unsolved Minneapolis homicide.
Jerry Arnold Westrom, 56, was convicted last month of first-degree premeditated murder and second-degree intentional murder in the June 1993 killing of Jeanie Ann Childs, 35.
On Friday, Hennepin County District Judge Juan G. Hoyos sentenced Westrom to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 30 years.
Childs, a sex worker, was found stabbed 65 times in her South Minneapolis apartment.
During their cold-case investigation, law enforcement officials learned that Westrom lived in the Twin Cities from April 9, 1991, to Dec. 31, 1993, according to the charges. Records indicated he had contacts with law enforcement related to prostitution, including a conviction for solicitation in February 2016, according to the charges.
In January 2019, law enforcement officials began surveillance on Westrom, the charges said, intending to get a sample of his DNA. Investigators followed Westrom to a hockey game. While he was there he ordered a hot dog from a concession stand. After he wiped his mouth with a napkin, he later dropped it into a trash bin, where detectives recovered it and had it analyzed for DNA.
Genealogical websites linked DNA evidence from the crime scene to Westrom’s profile.
Westrom’s attorney, Steven J. Meshbesher, said his client will appeal.
“As we said in the beginning and as we are saying now, you’ve got the wrong guy. We are sorry for the loss of Jeanie Child’s life. We’re looking forward to Jerry Westrom’s exoneration from the Minnesota Supreme Court,” he said.