A former downstate man has pleaded guilty to the 1985 murder of 15-year-old Kristy Wesselman in west suburban Glen Ellyn.
Michael R. Jones, 64, entered a guilty plea Thursday to one count of murder, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office. Judge George Bakalis accepted his plea.
Prosecutors recommended an 80-year sentence for Jones, and Bakalis accepted the recommendation, state’s attorney’s office spokesman Paul Darrah said. Jones is due back in court for his formal sentencing hearing Jan. 23.
On the afternoon of July 21, 1985, Wesselman was walking home from the Jewel store near Butterfield Road and Route 53 in unincorporated Glen Ellyn when she was attacked, prosecutors said. She was last seen walking on a well-traveled path back toward her home.
Her body was found about 11:15 a.m. the next day in a field between the store and her home, prosecutors said. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times.
A DNA profile from a sexual assault kit performed during her autopsy was submitted to a national database in 2000, according to prosecutors. In September 2015, the DNA profile was matched to Jones, who had pleaded guilty to aggravated domestic battery earlier that year in Champaign, where he lived at the time.
Investigators obtained a warrant to take a DNA sample from Jones on Sept. 18, 2015, and he was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated sexual assault, according to the state’s attorney’s office. He has been held without bond at the DuPage County Jail since Sept. 21, 2015.
“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,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said in a statement. “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.”