A juror was dismissed Monday during the Gwinnett County murder trial of two men connected to the 2012 home invasion killing of 15-year-old Nicholas Jackson II.
The move occurred after it was revealed that one of the defendants asked a cellmate’s mother to contact the juror, a woman, via Facebook.
Reco Dehaven West and Michael Earl Davis are on trial for murder for their involvement in the February 2012 slaying of Jackson, a Norcross High School freshman.
The Gwinnett Daily Post reported that the mother of West’s cellmate hinted on the stand Monday there was attempted jury tampering. Angella Hodges, mother of inmate Cameron Kemp, told the court she tried to look up the woman on Facebook before Judge Tom Davis stopped her, read her her rights and warned she could be incriminating herself. Hodges then declined to answer further questions.
The juror was not actually contacted, but still was removed from the jury. Additionally, the judge ruled Davis, who had no role in the scheme, will now be tried separately.
The Post reported a Norcross Police investigator monitored the jail phone calls of both West and Kemp and found three calls were made to Hodges on Saturday, May 10.
Recording of the calls, first heard outside the presence of the jury then later ruled admissible in court, revealed a plan that would have Hodges contact the juror through a fake Facebook page. In one of the calls, Kemp told his mother to post messaging such as “Please don’t send my son to prison.”
Apparently, West thought the juror liked him and could be persuaded to impact deliberations.
In all, seven people were charged in the Jackson murder;
five defendants have already been convicted or accepted a guilty plea deal.
The group allegedly shot and killed Jackson as they searched for cash and drugs they believed Jackson’s father had at the house. Two of the defendants claimed Nicholas Jackson Sr. was a drug dealer. He was arrested in August 2012 on federal drug distribution charges.
Neither West nor Davis are believed to have fired shots in the incident.
Read more on the Jackson case:
- Updated: 15-Year-Old Shot, Killed During Break-In
- Hundreds Attend Nick Jackson Funeral
- Seventh Arrest Made in Death of Nick Jackson
- UPDATE: Man Found Guilty of Killing Norcross Teen, Sentenced to Life in Prison
- Suspects in Nick Jackson Death Claim Father is Drug Dealer
- Nick Jackson Sr. Sentencing Rescheduled for May
- Trial Begins in Slaying of Norcross High Teen
- Update: Father of Slain Norcross Teen Arrested
- Donations Asked for Nick Jackson Memorial
- Community Attends Tree Dedication for Slain Teen
- A Tree to Honor Nick Jackson II, by Wende Lynn