A jury has been seated and opening statements are underway in the murder trial of Gerald Carnahan in Clayton, MO. Those statements began about 11:30 a.m.
Carnahan was charged with first-degree murder and forcible rape in August of 2007 for the 1985 beating death of twenty year-old Jackie Johns of Nixa. Johns was missing for several days before her body was found floating in Lake Springfield by anglers.
Prosecutor Darrell Moore plans to call a dozen witnesses, according to Sara Forhetz. Defense attorney Dee Wampler plans to call Carnahan's former stepdaughter, Sara Collins, who is his clients alibi witness. Collins was indicted by a grand jury for perjury in 1986 for the alleged bogus alibi. Collins is set to testify that Carnahan was in home with her and in his bed by 10 p.m. the night that Johns went missing. In 1987, a judge later found her innocent of the charges
A witness at Caranahan's preliminary hearing in 2008 testified that he "saw Gerry's distinctive truck" (and sounding) parked behind a convenience store at 160 and CC in Nixa later than 10 p.m. He said at the prelim, "I saw Gerry in his truck, then watched him leave."