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Judge denies challenges in 2020 homicide case

LOCK HAVEN — Clinton County President Judge Craig Miller has denied nearly all parts of a pre-trial motion submitted by Jamie Lynn Jackson’s defense in an attempt to challenge evidence accusing her of killing her 9-year-old nephew.

Jackson, 36, is accused of abusing Anson Stover and leaving him for dead in a bathtub in her home along East Bald Eagle Street in November 2020.

She is charged with criminal homicide, endangering the welfare of children, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, abuse of corpse, concealing death of a child and two counts of aggravated assault by the Lock Haven City Police Department.

After a pre-trial hearing held in July, Miller granted defense attorneys Patrick A. Johnson and Brian W. Ulmer to make motions regarding individual voir dire –the act of questioning jurors amid selection.

Motions regarding preservation of the crime scene and subsequently allowing jurors to view the crime scene in person were considered moot following a discussion with both the defense and prosecution at the time.

The remaining motions put forth by the defense were the suppression of evidence from Jackson’s home along East Bald Eagle Street where Stover’s body was found; suppression of statements made by Jackson; to quash notice of aggravating circumstances; to hold an evidentiary hearing concerning the asserted aggravated circumstances; declaring the death penalty unconstitutional; prevent death qualifications of prospective jurors or separate juries from the guilt phase to the potential penalty phase; allow the defense the last closing argument; allow a supplemental jury questionnaire be used.

Miller denied all motions except the questionnaire in his 17 page opinion and order.

In the order, Miller provided an evidentiary finding that set a timeline of events from Nov. 30, 2020, when Officers Andrew Fisher and Gage Fischer responded to Jackson’s home at 657 E. Bald Eagle St., to her arrest by the city police department on Dec. 2, 2020.

The finding states that after confirming Stover’s whereabouts in the home from Jackson’s father, Hugh, and the 9-year-old’s death, Fisher contacted Detective Richard Simpson and Fischer proceeded to preserve the crime scene.

City police obtained a warrant to search the residence later that day, seizing multiple items.

“No search of (Jackson’s) residence was conducted by the Lock Haven City Police Department prior to the issuance and serving of the search warrant,” the finding states.

The document further says Simpson interviewed Jackson two times– on Nov. 30, 2020 after Stover’s body was discovered, and again on Dec. 2, 2020. Both interviews took place at the Lock Haven City Police Department.

Jackson’s trial is scheduled to begin on March 28, 2022, and may last until April 8, 2022. Jury selection will begin on March 21, 2022.

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