Cold Case Cracked by Student Worker Heading to Trial

A man arrested last year for allegedly killing a mail carrier 38 years ago was ordered Tuesday to stand trial.

Gerald Dean Metcalf is charged with murder for allegedly stabbing Gerald Jackson 61 times in the victim's Pacific Beach apartment in December 1971.

Metcalf, 61, claims the victim, who worked part-time at a gay bar, tried to rape him.

Investigators struggled on the case until January 2008, when a student worker in the San Diego Police Department's cold case unit re-examined evidence and found Metcalf's fingerprints on the window of Jackson's car and on a stereo that had been stolen from his apartment, police said.

Metcalf was arrested nine months later in northeast Texas. He was ordered Tuesday to stand trial in San Diego Superior Court after a judge reviewed evidence against him.

Defense attorney Gary Gibson said Metcalf told authorities Jackson tried to rape his client in the apartment.

The 27-year-old Jackson was a Vietnam War veteran who worked as a mail carrier and part-time as a bouncer at a gay bar.

Metcalf's DNA was detected on a stereo speaker inside the apartment, on a stain on top of a table in the living room and on a cigarette butt in the victim's bedroom, said Deputy District Attorney Jill Schall. She said the crime went unsolved until last year, when a print taken from Metcalf after a prior arrest matched a print from the crime scene.

Metcalf was acquitted in 1984 of a murder in Texas after he claimed self-defense.

The defendant was being held Tuesday on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on March 10.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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