Trial set for suspect in 1985 rape-murder case

Friday, October 3, 2008 | 11:38 a.m. CDT

CLAYTON_ Just over a year after a Springfield man was charged in the 1985 rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman, a trial date has been set.

In a motions hearing Thursday, 50-year-old Gerald Carnahan was scheduled for trial July 27, 2009, on charges of first-degree murder and forcible rape. The charges were filed in August 2007 after prosecutors said results of new DNA testing provided enough evidence for their case.

Investigators have long believed that Carnahan abducted, raped and bludgeoned Jackie Johns of Nixa and dumped her body in Lake Springfield. Her nude body was found five days later.

The case was moved to St. Louis County Circuit Court on a change of venue.

A 1986 grand jury indicted Carnahan for tampering with physical evidence in connection with the case, but those charges were later dismissed.

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