Commonwealth Rests During Day 2 of Gerald Jackson Murder Trial
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The commonwealth has rested its case against 61-year-old Gerald Francis Jackson, the Charlottesville man accused of murdering his neighbor.
Day two of the jury trial picked up in Charlottesville Circuit Court at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 6. Jackson is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 55-year-old Richard Edwards.
A state medical examiner walked the jury of seven men and five women through Edwards’ autopsy Tuesday. The victim was stabbed three times with a Phillips screwdriver: once behind his left ear, once in his left cheek, and the fatal blow to the jugular. He also had blunt-force trauma to the head, likely from a fall as he bled out.
Monday, Jurors heard from police officers who were called out to the Cherry Street scene on January 10, 2019. Investigators found a bloody screwdriver in the yard, and Jackson reportedly said, "Arrest me and I'll kill you, too."
Officers also testified about inconsistent and incoherent statements Jackson made in the immediate aftermath of the crime.
Jackson had told investigators that he had been drinking with Edwards, then went to buy beer from Lucky 7, drank it with another friend, and then returned to Cherry St. apartments to find Edwards dead. However, the lead case detective testified Tuesday that Jackson's alibi doesn’t add up: The 911 call came in around 4 a.m., meaning Jackson would not have been able to buy beer at a convenience store (state law prohibits “off-premise” beer and wine sales between midnight and 6 a.m.). Investigators also pulled surveillance video from Lucky 7, and never saw the suspect.
Jackson has also blamed the killing on a possible drug dealer, but the medical examiner said only trace amount of marijuana were discovered in Edwards' body. A different officer had testified Monday that a search of the victim's apartment did not yield any drugs or drug paraphernalia.
Defense attorney Chris Graham claims Jackson and Edwards were friends, and has pointed to a lack of motive in the case.
The defense has indicated that it does not plan to call any witnesses, adding that the court has heard enough statements from Jackson already. Graham indicated that he may call one of the police officers back to the witness stand to clarify photographs from the crime scene.
The judge had to leave early, resulting in court being done for the day around 2:30 p.m. Closing arguments are set for Wednesday morning.
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