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Man Sentenced To Death For Grisly Stabbing And Rape Of Pregnant Newlywed

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A man has been sentenced to death today for the fatal stabbing and rape of a pregnant Costa Mesa woman that happened over 25 years ago.Jason Michael Balcom, 48, murdered Malinda Gibbons in July 18, 1988, but his DNA was recently linked to her death while he was serving a 50-year prison sentence in Michigan for another rape, according to City News Service.

Gibbons (who was 22 at the time) and her husband Kent Gibbons had just moved into the Costa Mesa apartment from Utah when the fatal stabbing happened. Her husband was at work and she was unpacking when Balcom (then 18 years old and just released from juvenile hall) burst into her home, reported the O.C. Register and City News Service. He lived on the same street just a quarter-mile away from her, according to O.C. Weekly. Balcom tied her down with belts and ties he found around her apartment and then choked, raped, and fatally stabbed her. Gibbons' husband found his wife's bloodied body when he returned home from work.

There was no national DNA database at the time of the murder, but his DNA was added to the database when it enacted in 1999. When Balcom's DNA was taken for his arrest in Michigan, authorities found it matched with the murder of Gibbons.

During the final arguments in his trial in March 2012, his deputy public defender Dolores Yost pleaded that he not receive the death sentence. She said Balcom had a horrible childhood where his dysfunctional mother had physically and emotionally abused him for years before committing suicide, reported O.C. Register. She said he was a "a child who was neglected and abused."

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According to CBS Los Angeles, prosecutors said just days after Gibbons' murder, Balcom raped another woman in Costa Mesa.