Jurors recommended today that a 42-year-old man should be put to death for raping and fatally stabbing a pregnant newlywed in her Costa Mesa apartment in 1988.
Formal sentencing is scheduled June 14 for Jason Michael Balcom, who was serving a 50-year sentence in Michigan for another rape when linked to the Orange County crime by DNA evidence.
Another jury last year split 10-2 in favor of recommending capital punishment for Balcom, who was convicted last March of raping and murdering Malinda Gibbons on July 18, 1988.
The previous jury found true special circumstance allegations that the crime was committed during a robbery, rape, sodomy and burglary, making the defendant eligible for a death sentence.
Balcom was serving a 30- to 50-year sentence in a Michigan prison for the August 1988 rape of a woman in that state when he was brought back to Orange County in 2005 to face charges for the rape and murder of Gibbons.
He was also convicted in 1990 of raping another woman in Orange County around the same time he killed Gibbons.