Double Life Sentence for Convicted Murderer of Pregnant Woman and Boyfriend

WHEELING, West Virginia – Gerald Jako, the man who admitted to the killings of a pregnant woman and her boyfriend, has been sentenced to serve two consecutive life sentences. The murders of Trevor Vossen and Lauren “Lulu” Jenkins in August 2018 led to Jako’s sentencing, which will commence after he completes a prior 100-year sentence for a first-degree robbery conviction.

Jako’s eligibility for parole for the 100-year robbery sentence comes at least 25 years into the conviction. Once that sentence is finished or he is granted parole, he will then begin serving the concurrent life sentences for the 2018 murders. For these murders, Jako will not be eligible for parole for a minimum of 15 years.

In September 2023, Jako pleaded guilty to the two counts of first-degree murder for the double murder committed in 2018. The 38-year-old shot Jenkins and stabbed Vossen at the residence of his girlfriend at the time, Dana Bowman, on Wheeling Island. He then transported the remains to Raleigh County, where they were found burned and hidden at a site off Sullivan Road by a local resident 11 days later.

The case was the result of a five-year murder investigation that spanned across multiple counties in the state. During the sentencing hearing, photos of evidence that would have been presented in the trial were shared by state officials. These included bones indicating dismemberment, as well as the discovery of multiple tools at the burn site, including six assault blades. At Bowman’s residence, a pile of burned material was found in the backyard, where a fragment of bone identified as belonging to Trevor Vossen was also discovered.

The Assistant Prosecutor described Jako’s actions as motivated by revenge, believing Vossen had stolen from him while he was incarcerated. Despite a plea deal, Jako was sentenced to a substantial and significant prison term, which the prosecutor described as exactly what the state had sought.

In addition to the details of the crime, heartfelt statements were read from the families of the victims during the sentencing hearing. They described the lasting pain and loss caused by the murders, expressing the enduring impact on their lives and the lives of their loved ones. The hope was expressed that, with the sentencing concluded, the families could begin the process of finding closure and healing from their tragic loss.