Interior designer Jade Jenks was found guilty Wednesday of poisoning her former stepfather after finding nude pictures of herself on his computer. She was sentenced in California to life in prison for the murder of Thomas Merriman, according to the New York Post.
Throughout the trial, she said that her stepfather died of an illness and that she was innocent.
She also admitted how horrified she was when she found more than 100 nude photos of herself on his computer, taken more than ten years ago in an arrangement with her then-boyfriend.
– This was no accident. This is a planned murder – said Deputy District Attorney Jorge Del Portillo.
It is unclear how Merriman, a local butterfly activist, obtained the private images. One of her nude photos was apparently his screensaver.
Prosecutors told the jury that Janet discovered the images while cleaning Merriman’s apartment after he was hospitalized. Her mother was no longer married to him, but the two were still close.
The attorneys also presented the jury with text messages Janks wrote in which she said she “beat the hell out of him” after picking him up from the hospital.
– I’m about to hit him on the head when he wakes up – she sent a message when he woke up. She confessed to two people that she killed him, the lawyers said.
Her attorney, Mark Carlos, spoke to the media after the verdict, insisting there was “zero” evidence that she strangled him.
– Jade Jenks loved her stepfather. Tom Merriman loved her. “Unfortunately, Tom Merriman was a troubled person and he loved her in different ways,” Carlos said.
The cause of death was determined to be acute poisoning with zolpidem, a sleep aid. Merriman was found dead under a pile of cardboard boxes in the driveway of his home on January 2, 2021.
(New York Post)
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