Re: Kern County Jury Finds Prentice Foreman Guilty of First Degree Murder

On June 5, 2019, a Kern County jury found Prentice Foreman guilty of 1st degree murder for the killing of Dawn Ellen Koons in January of 1979. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Gina Pearl

Dawn Koons moved to Bakersfield from Yonkers, New York in late 1978.  She moved to the same apartment complex as the defendant at 2220 S. Real Road.  After working a waitressing shift at The Breakers Restaurant (California Ave & Stockdale Hwy), Koons was last seen alive on Friday night, January 12, 1979.  Her body was discovered inside her apartment four days later. Koons was sexually assaulted, had ligature bindings around her wrists and neck, and a pillowcase over her face causing her to die from asphyxiation.  A rape kit was taken at her autopsy and the evidence collected was preserved.

In 2011, the Bakersfield Police Department re-opened the case and sent several items of evidence, including Koons’ rape kit, to the Kern Regional Crime Lab for potential DNA testing.  With the advancements in scientific technology over the next several years, an unknown male’s profile was discovered on evidence from Koons’ rape kit.  In October 2017, a CODIS hit matched that unknown profile to the defendant, Prentice Foreman.

Foreman faces 25 years to life in prison sentence for first-degree murder.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 10, 2019 before the Honorable Brian M. McNamara.

Advised of the verdict, District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer stated:

“For more than forty years, the friends and family of Dawn Koons have waited for justice for her murder. Today, that long wait is finally over. We remain committed to providing justice for all victims of homicides, even in “cold cases” that initially went unsolved. By utilizing advancements in DNA analysis, we have repeatedly seen new leads and evidence develop in long-unsolved homicide cases. I encourage anyone with information on a homicide case – no matter how old – to report it to authorities.”

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