A woman was acquitted in the death of a man killed by a Birmingham police officer and was convicted of robbery
A Birmingham woman has been acquitted in the death of a man, authorities believe. He was carjacked, beaten, and left for dead before an off-duty Birmingham officer ran over him.
Keyton Nicole Sparks, 35, was found not guilty on the charges of felony murder, reckless manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide in the death of Jerand Deon Jackson, 40.
Sparks was found guilty of third-degree robbery in the possession of Jackson's vehicle and first-degree criminal mischief in the burning of the stolen vehicle.
A lawyer for Sparks had claimed in his opening statements that there was no robbery, and that Sparks left the scene in fear for her life after another gunman pointed at her.
Sparks was represented by attorneys Warren Brooks and Will McComb.
Stephen Wallace, a circuit judge, has presided over the trial.
The defense did not call any witnesses, which was first learned Tuesday and ended the day.
The jurors held their respective discussions for six hours before releasing their verdicts.
It was a very tough decision to try. It's not your normal murder case where it was cut and dry, said prosecutor Brooks. We stand by the verdict the jury came back with. They took a lot of time and consideration in the verdict.
The fatal incident took place on Third Avenue North on June 19, 2019, after all involved had left the Empire Gentleman's Club, where there had been two altercations.
Prosecutors in opening statements earlier this week said the ordeal began in the early-morning hours that Wednesday when Jackson was talking to Sparks, who worked at Empire.
Sparks and Jackson were involved in a dispute.
People started to leave the club at around 2:30 a.m., including Jackson. Another dispute between the dancer and Jackson took place, and then Jackson left. Sparks and two others left at the same time in another vehicle
John Williams, a motorcyclist who had previously worked at the club but never participated in any of the incidents, was struck from behind.
Jackson tried to leave the scene, but was blocked in by Sparks and her companions.
Prosecutors said Sparks dragged Jackson out of his vehicle and began to beat him. Williams testified that he kicked Jackson in the upper torso several times but then stopped and called 911.
Police Officer Lane Harper, who is currently on the scene, had just finished his off-duty job at a different club. Harper, according to the authorities, unknowingly ran over Jackson, who was in the middle of the street after being beaten.
The victim's vehicle was later found burned in Fairfield, where Sparks lived.
Jackson was killed after being run over by a vehicle, according to a medical examiner.
Jerand Deon Jackson, a 40-year-old boy, was killed in June 2019 by Keyton Nicole Sparks.
Sparks was indicted on felony murder, robbery, and first-degree criminal mischief. In the indictment against Sparks, she claimed to have caused Jackson's death during the commission or attempt to commission a felony crime - third degree robbery.
felony murder law allows a person to commit or attempt to commit arson, burglary, escape, kidnapping, rape, or robbery sodomy.
For all of the crimes, the judge prescribed the jury to examine the felony murder charge as well as the lesser charges of reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
If a person commits a theft in the third degree, he or she uses force against a person or threatens to use force in the property investment.
A statue for first-degree criminal mischief states that a person commits that crime if he or she damages someone elses property by injuring a bullet.
Both crimes for which Sparks was convicted are Class C felonies. Sentencing for Sparks is set for March 11.