The defense presented a different version and asserted that the 64-year-old man died of an unfortunate overdose because he had multiple medical prescriptions.
Courtesy | They blame the designer for giving the victim a cocktail of pills
Jade Janks, 39, an interior designer, is accused of murdering her stepfather, Thomas Merriman, 64, in what could be revenge because the man had nude pictures of her on his computer. .
In San Diego, California, the trial began with two conflicting versions, as the prosecution tried to prove that the old man’s death was planned, while Janks’s defense claimed that it was the death of Thomas Merriman, who was dedicated to caring for butterflies. His age was due to physical problems common to old age.
According to the San Diego County District Attorney, Thomas Merriman was in recovery after a fall in late 2020 when his stepdaughter found the butterfly farmer’s personal computer at home, where they were stored. Some photos of Jade.
According to investigations, the photos were consensually taken by Jade Janks’ boyfriend 10 years ago, however, it was not possible to explain how her stepfather obtained the images.
The 39-year-old woman’s defense assured her that she loved her relative.
Died on New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Eve 2021, Jade arrives to take Thomas home. When the police received a call on January 2, they found the old man’s body under a pile of garbage.
He reportedly tried to ask two men for help in moving the body, however, one man did not want to be an accomplice and called social assistance control to report the situation.
According to the coroner’s investigation, Merriman died of acute zolpidem poisoning or Ambien, a type of sleeping pill.
During the trial, the district collector presented as evidence text messages sent from Janks’ phone before the New Year, which showed that this was a premeditated act.
“I hit him”, “He’s up. I really don’t want to do this”, “I can’t carry him alone, I can’t have a kicking body in my torso” and “I’m going to hit him in the head. Woke up”, Jade’s words to many, in the case of the photos. She talked about her anger at her stepmother.
According to the prosecutor’s version, the designer gave the victim a cocktail of pills, and his intention was that it would appear to be an accidental overdose of the man, and that the authorities would find the body in his room.
For his part, Jade’s defense pointed out that her stepfather came home with several prescriptions for prescription drugs, so she may have been mistaking the drugs herself. “Although he had a different kind of love for his stepmother, he certainly loved his stepfather,” they captioned the photos.
But the District Collector found signs incriminating the woman in the text messages and asked a couple of men for help in handling the body. The first of them refused and the second called the authorities to give notice.
The caller, identified as Adam Sipliak, testified last Thursday that Janks confessed to killing his stepfather and needed help moving the body to the bed to make it look like he had taken a drug overdose.
“She said: ‘I killed him, he’s in the back of my truck,'” according to local media. She then allegedly refused to offer Jade any help. “I can’t help you… No way, I’m getting out of here. I have a child to raise.
Confronted with this testimony, Janks’ defense team argued that the witness was a recovering drug addict and that his version was due to his romantic interest in her.
The defense attorney, who denied that he strangled Merriman to end his life, assured an autopsy that the cause of death was an overdose. He argued that the old man’s death was accidental due to alcohol consumption and drug overdose.
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