|For Immediate Release
March 23, 2007
GRAND JURY INDICTMENT UNSEALED IN CASE CHARGING MAN WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT AND MURDER OF A YOUNG PREGNANT WOMAN IN 1988
SANTA ANA – A grand jury indictment was unsealed today in the 1988 murder case of a man who raped, stabbed, and murdered a 22-year-old pregnant woman. Jason Michael Balcom, 36, was indicted on charges of murder with four special circumstance allegations for committing murder during the commission of sodomy, attempted rape, robbery, and burglary. If convicted and the special circumstances are found to be true, Balcom faces a possible death penalty. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Friday, May 25, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On the morning of July 18, 1988, 22-year-old Malinda Gibbons said good bye to her engineer husband as he left for work. The newlywed couple had just moved from Utah a few weeks earlier to the Mediterranean Village Apartments on Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa. At approximately 11:00 a.m., Balcom is accused of breaking in to the apartment and brutally attacking Gibbons, who was pregnant with her first child. He is accused of binding, gagging, and beating the victim before sodomizing and attempting to rape her. Balcom is accused of then murdering her by stabbing her in the chest. When Gibbons’ husband came home from work that evening, he found his tied-up, murdered wife on the floor of their bedroom.
In 2004, a DNA hit linked Balcom to the crime. He was extradited to Orange County in 2005 from Michigan, where he was serving a prison sentence for rape.
Assistant District Attorney Marc Rozenberg and Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Gurwitz are prosecuting this case.