Minneapolis cold case murder: Court reverses conviction on one count

Jerry Westrom was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. (FOX 9)

The Minnesota Supreme Court has vacated a single conviction against a Minnesota hockey dad in the cold-case murder of a sex worker in Minneapolis – but he will remain behind bars.

The decision was part of a seven-part challenge by Jerry Westrom over his conviction on murder charges in the 1993 murder of Jeanne Childs in Minneapolis.

The court ruled that Westrom should not have been convicted of both first-degree murder and second-degree murder. So, in its decision, the court removed the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

However, six other challenges to his conviction by Westrom were rejected by justices, keeping him behind bars.

Jeanne Childs was fatally stabbed in 1993. Jerry Westrom was convicted in her murder.  (FOX 9 / FOX 9)

Westrom, who turns 58 next week, is serving a life sentence in the St. Cloud prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years. He was convicted in August 2022, nearly 30 years after Jeanne Childs' killing.

Childs, a known sex worker, was found stabbed to death inside her Minneapolis apartment on June 13, 1993. Childs was naked except for socks and her bed, bedroom walls, and bathroom were covered in blood.

An autopsy found she had been stabbed upwards of 65 times.

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Initially, court documents say police zeroed in on Childs' boyfriend-pimp but found he had an alibi. The case then went cold for more than a decade until Minneapolis police began working with the FBI.

Investigators checked DNA evidence from the crime scene on a genealogical website's database. Court documents say this ultimately identified Westrom as a potential suspect.

Following Westrom to a hockey game in Wisconsin, police were able to collect a napkin with his DNA that ultimately matched the crime scene DNA. He was arrested in February 2019.