Jackie Johns was murdered by Gerald Carnahan and his fate is now in the hands of the people: he is facing 12 jurors. Closing arguments in his trial ended about 11:45 a.m. today. Carnahan is charged with killing Jackie Johns, 20, of Nixa in June 1985 in Springfield, MO.
Before closing arguments, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Michael Jamison read legal instructions to the jurors. Here’s a summary of what jurors must believe in order to vote for different crimes:
Count 1, first-degree murder: Between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 5 a.m., the defendant caused death by striking Jackie Johns in the head, while knowing it was likely or certain to cause the death of Johns. That crime carries a penalty of life in prison without possibility of parole.
If you have a reasonable doubt on count 1, consider whether he is guilty or not guilty of second-degree murder. You must find his conduct was likely or certain to cause death. Serious physical injury is defined as whether it could cause death or serious impairment. Judge Jamison also gave legal instructions for forcible rape. The legal instructions ended at 9:42 a.m. and prosecutors and defense attorneys got ready for closing arguments.