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Thursday, January 18, 2018
Michael Jones Pleads Guilty to 1985 Murder of Kristina Wesselman
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today Michael Jones, 64, (d.o.b. 3/5/1953) formerly of 2508 Southmoor Drive, Champaign, has entered a plea of guilty to the 1985 murder of fifteen-year-old Kristina Wesselman. Jones appeared in court this afternoon in front of Judge George Bakalis, who accepted Jones’ plea. Jones has been held in custody at the DuPage County Jail without bond since September 21, 2015.
In the afternoon hours of July 21, 1985, Kristina left her home on Cypress Drive in unincorporated Glen Ellyn to go to the Jewel Grocery store near her home. She never returned home from the store. At approximately 11:15 a.m. the following day, her partially nude body was discovered in a field between her home and the store. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times. An extensive investigation into her murder yielded no results and the case eventually went cold. The case has remained active since then. On September 10, 2015, the DuPage County Crime Laboratory informed detectives from the Sheriff’s Office that there was a DNA match through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) that identified a specific person as the contributor of the DNA profile obtained from the sexual assault kit performed during Kristina’s autopsy. Further investigation led by the Sheriff’s Cold Case Unit with assistance from the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office led to Jones. On Friday, September 18, 2015, authorities from DuPage County traveled to Champaign, took Jones into custody and returned him to DuPage County to face the charges against him.
“Kristy Wesselman had her whole life ahead of her,” Berlin said. “She was a beautiful young girl, full of life and loved by all. More than three decades have passed since Michael Jones sexually assaulted and brutally murdered Kristy, forever changing the lives of her surviving family and friends. I’m sure that in that time, not a day has passed that Kristy’s family hasn’t thought about today, the day of reckoning for the man who sexually assaulted and murdered Kristy. Her family and friends have waited a long time for justice and today, justice was delivered. I would like to express my thanks to DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba and his office. They have done an outstanding job in this horrible case. It is because of their persistence and dedication that Mr. Jones finds himself pleading guilty in open court today. I would also like to thank the Champaign Police Department and the Champaign County Probation Department for their assistance in the apprehension of Mr. Jones. I would like to thank First Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Ruggiero and Assistant State’s Attorney Jim French for their tireless efforts the past two years in preparing a very strong case against Mr. Jones.”
Jones’ next court appearance is scheduled for January 23, 2018, at 1:30 for sentencing.