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Isanti businessman Jerry Westrom has been sentenced to life in prison for the 1993 murder of Jeanne "Jeanie" Ann Childs in Minneapolis.

The sentencing was made on Friday. Westrom will serve the life sentence with no possibility of parole for 30 years after his conviction for first-degree murder and a charge of second-degree murder.

Westrom was found guilty on Aug. 23, following a nine-day trial during which prosecutors argued that Westrom was responsible for Childs' fatal stabbing, and that the attack on June 13, 1993 was premeditated. 

His defense had argued that another man – Childs' pimp – killed her.

Betty Eakman, Jeanne's mother, told reporters outside of the Hennepin County courtroom Friday that she was happy to finally get justice for her daughter after 30 years.

Childs was found on the bedroom floor of an apartment on the 3100 block of Pillsbury Ave. S. Water was found overflowing from an unoccupied, running shower, with blood also being present. 

Authorities found the apartment belonged to someone Childs had been dating who was out of the area at the time of the incident, and that she used the apartment for prostitution services.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she died from multiple sharp force injuries. Items from the apartment were collected and eventually tested for the presence of DNA. An unknown DNA profile was found to be on several of the items tested.

The case went cold for years until 2018, when police enlisted the services of a genealogist who supplied Westrom’s name as an individual who shared familial traits to the unknown profile that was developed at the crime scene.

It led investigators to a hockey game in 2019, where they watched Westrom use a napkin to wipe his mouth and then toss it in the trash. Police recovered the napkin and obtained a DNA sample from it, which linked to DNA profiles at the crime scene. Westrom's footprints were also matched to several bloody footprints at the scene.

The Isanti County News reports that he also previously owned several businesses in the Cambridge area, including the local Sears, the former Westrom's Corner gas station, and the former Sinclair gas station.

Bring Me The News reached out to the attorneys representing Westrom for comment on Friday.

This is a developing story.

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