Victim's sister testifies family was suspicious of Noura Jackson - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Victim's sister testifies family was suspicious of Noura Jackson

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By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

By Lori Brown - bio | email


The judge and jury heard some of the most emotional testimony yet during day six in the murder trial of Noura Jackson, accused of stabbing her mother to death in June of 2005.

Jackson's sister, Grace France, once again took the stand on Saturday.

France choked up as she identified her relationship to victim Jennifer Jackson. "That's my sister," she said tearfully. 

France said the family was suspicious of her sister's daughter, Noura. France said money they had given to her kept disappearing.

France says that when she asked her niece how she'd gotten the cut on her hand, Noura replied,"Grace, any doctor will tell you that's a burn. I burnt it cooking macaroni and cheese."
     
Noura Jackson's father was murdered during a robbery at his convenience store just 15 months before her mother's murder. Defense Attorney Arthur Quinn established that Jennifer Jackson's sisters would get the estate if a jury found Noura guilty, and that the family had filed a lawsuit against her. France said she didn't want Noura to profit from killing her own mother.

When the jury exited the room, Quinn introduced papers found in the house.

"One of them is a shopping list that says 'bandages-Noura,'" he said.

In the presence of the jury, the judge allowed Quinn to ask France to identify who had written that.

"It does appear more likely than not to be Jennifer's handwriting," France said.

This raises the question: Did Jennifer Jackson buy the bandage for her daughter, or did her daughter cut herself while stabbing her mother?

Then family history came into play when Quinn said, "Nora's father, Nazmi, was a Lebanese immigrant, and ya'll never did like him or accept him. Did you?"

"We didn't care for Nazmi," France said.

But the Prosecutor Amy Weirich argued that that wasn't what had brought France to court.

"Is that why you're sitting here, because of the ethnicity of the defendant's father?," said Weirich.

"No. Absolutely not," said France.

Noura Jackson's friend, Sophie Cooley, took the stand while the jury was out of the room.

Cooley said she saw Jackson use cocaine and the prescription painkiller Loritab. She also said Jackson smoked marijuana frequently.

Defense attorneys argued the drug use should not be admissible, but Judge Chris Craft decided it was relevant.

"It would be a motive for her mother to clamp down on her, and that would be a motive for her to want to put her mother away," he said.
    
When the jury returned, Cooley testified that she saw Jackson take three Loritab pills on the night before her mother's murder. 

Cooley said she did not see a cut on Jackson's hand that night.
    
She also said she saw Jackson the day of the murder and she didn't appear to be very upset. "Later in the night, she was talking about going to the movies. Going out and doing things, and I just found that odd." 
    

The trial will resume on Monday morning.

Stay with Action News 5 and WMCTV.com for updates.

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