A new jury will decide whether a man convicted of raping and killing a pregnant Costa Mesa woman should receive the death penalty or life in prison.
On Monday an Orange County Superior Court judge scheduled a retrial in the penalty phase of Jason Michael Balcolm's case for May 14. The earlier jury deadlocked 10 to 2 on whether to give the 42-year-old the death penalty, which incited Judge Francisco Briseno to declare a mistrial.
Balcom was convicted in March of first-degree murder for sexually assaulting and murdering 22-year-old Malinda Gibbons in 1988.
Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy sought the penalty phase retrial, finding Balcom's actions — raping Gibbons, who was four to six weeks pregnant, then killing her by stabbing her in the heart — to be exceptionally cruel and warranting the death penalty.