Noura Jackson seeks freedom during murder retrial

Noura Jackson seeks freedom during murder retrial
(Source: WMC Action News 5/ 2009)
(Source: WMC Action News 5/ 2009)

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - A woman who was convicted five years ago of killing her own mother could be one step closer to freedom.

Jennifer Jackson was found dead in her East Memphis home in 2005. She had been stabbed 50 times.

During the trial, prosecutors painted Noura Jackson as an out-of-control teen, who killed her mother in a fit of rage in an effort to continue her drug-induced lifestyle of partying.

Noura was convicted of second-degree murder in 2009.

In August 2014, Tennessee Supreme Court granted Jackson a new trial, citing constitutional errors during the first proceedings handled by District Attorney General Amy Weirich, who was the prosecutor in the case at the time.

The court ruled that the prosecution violated Jackson's right to due process by withholding key witness statements. The court condemned Weirich's closing argument statement in which she asked the teen, "Just tell us where you were, Noura?" It ruled the comment violated Jackson's right not to testify in her own defense.

In a hearing held Monday in Shelby County Criminal Court, Jackson's attorney, Valerie Corder, and co-counsel, Michael Working, filed new motions.

"We filed a motion to have a bond set for Ms. Jackson so that she can be outside of the confines of the prison walls in which she's been housed by the court's ruling as an innocent woman," said Corder.

Weirich also made an appearance in court as the defense team asked Judge Chris Craft to remove her from the retrial based on conflict of interest.

"I did indeed file a motion to recuse and disqualify the Shelby County district attorney in it's entirety," said Corder.

Corder said Weirich was made aware that the motions would be filed and in turn, she asked to be removed from the case. Weirich suggested the appointments of Asst. District Attorneys Reggie Henderson and Alanda Dwyer.

"I know that a jury convicted her and it's been sent back for retrial and that's where we are," said Weirich. "It's the opinion that we have to stand by and we will and we will make sure that Ms. Jackson's gets another fair trial.

Corder said Jackson, who remains in custody, is in high spirits and called the state court's decision unprecedented.

"To my knowledge there has never been a case in the State of Tennessee in which a conviction has been reversed for two episodes of constitutional misconduct," said Corder. "This is ground breaking in that regard."

A judge will rule on the defense's motions to set bond and disqualify Weirich's office on February 13.

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