Defendant Jackson, 28, was sentenced to 15 years in prison as a career offender under a negotiated plea between her lawyers and prosecutors that was approved by the victim’s family.
Noura Jackson has been in custody since September of 2005 when she was arrested for the death of her mother who was found stabbed more than 50 times on June 5, 2005.
She was charged with first-degree murder and in 2009 was convicted of the included offense of second-degree murder. Criminal Court Judge Chris Craft sentenced Jackson to 20 years and 9 months in prison.
The trial lasted two weeks and included some 40 witnesses and 392 exhibits.
In August of last year, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed and vacated the conviction and sentence and remanded the case for a new trial on second-degree murder.
The court found the evidence against Jackson to be entirely circumstantial and cautioned the trial court to take a more “restrictive approach” in the new trial concerning the admission of character evidence concerning the defendant’s alcohol use, drug use and sex life.
Many of the original trial witnesses are unavailable or uncooperative with the state.
As a result, the state entered into a negotiated guilty plea settlement to the lesser-included homicide offense, a Class C felony that is a knowing or intentional killing of another.
By her Alford plea, the defendant conceded that the state had enough evidence with which to convict her of voluntary manslaughter.
Voluntary manslaughter carries punishment from 2.7 years in prison for a mitigated offender to 15 years for a career offender. Under the negotiated settlement, Jackson agreed to be sentenced as a career offender which would make her eligible for parole after service of 9 years.
Since Jackson has been in jail or prison for nearly 10 years, she is eligible to seek immediate parole. Her release and any conditions required will be determined by the Tennessee Department of Parole and Tennessee Department of Correction.
Upon any future release from incarceration, Jackson will be supervised by the parole department for the balance of her 15-year sentence.
Dunavant of Ripley, the District Attorney General for the five-county 25th Judicial District, was appointed special prosecutor in March. Also prosecuting the case were Asst. Dist. Attys. Mark Davidson and Walt Freeland of the 25th District.