A Time To Kill is investigating the murder of college student Jenna Verhaalen, who was savagely killed by Jeremiah Matthew Rosser, the maintenance worker at her apartment complex in Bryan, Texas.
On April 9, 2008, the battered body of 20-year-old Jenna Verhaalen was found lying on the floor of her Bryan apartment, close to the Blinn College campus. An autopsy showed that she had been strangled.
Verhaalen had clearly attempted to fight off her attacker as their blood was on her clothing and their skin cells were under her fingernails; this would later prove decisive in catching her killer.
Initially, her boyfriend, Spencer Hood, was the prime suspect. He had been the one who found and reported the murder, but the lack of any forced entry at the apartment meant the police suspected Verhaalen knew her attacker. Hood was also the last person who was known to have seen her alive.
However, Hood proved to be very cooperative with the cops, and he submitted to DNA testing, which quickly ruled him out as the killer.
Suspicion fell on maintenance worker Jeremiah Rosser
Maintenance worker Rosser began to fall under suspicion. He had mysteriously stopped working at the complex shortly after the murder.
A search of Rosser’s truck found stolen items from another individual living at the complex and a set of keys for each of the apartments. The keys to Verhaalen’s apartment were missing.
About five months after the murder, the cops interviewed Rosser, and, surprisingly, he willingly submitted DNA for testing. This proved to be his downfall as his DNA was found to match the skin cells under Verhaalen’s fingernails and the blood on her shirt. In fighting Rosser, the student may not have been able to save her life, but she ensured that he would go to prison for the crime.
The cops suspect that Rosser may have entered Verhaalen’s apartment intending to rob her but that she may have come home unexpectedly and surprised him.
About two weeks before Rosser was due to go on trial, he came to an agreement with the prosecution and pleaded guilty to the murder. This spared Verhaalen’s family from an upsetting trial and landed the killer with a 55-year prison sentence. He will be eligible for parole once he’s served half the sentence.
More from A Time To Kill
Follow the links to read about more murders examined on A Time To Kill.
Imette St. Guillen was out celebrating her birthday in New York City when she encountered a murderous bar bouncer called Darryl Littlejohn. The cops believe he offered to take the intoxicated St. Guillen home but instead raped and murdered her.
The cops believe that Catholic priest, Father Ryan Erickson, gunned down Daniel “Dan” O’Connell and James Ellison at the funeral home where the pair worked because O’Connell had information regarding the clergyman being involved in sexual abuse of a minor. The priest killed himself when the cops began closing in on him.
A Time To Kill airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.