A West Monroe man, convicted of murder, will be re-sentenced after a Ouachita Parish judge set him free last year.
A jury found 30-year-old Eric Nabors guilty of second-degree murder in the brutal slaying of two-year-old Jemarion Jackson.
District Attorney Steve Tew says his fate would have been set.
“There’s only one sentence for second degree murder that’s life in prison”, says Tew.
According to court documents the toddler’s suffered major hemorrhaging of the brain stem, rib fractures and a liver laceration while in the care of Nabors, his mother’s boyfriend at the time. When Jackson was brought to Glenwood Regional Medical Center in West Monroe his lungs and abdomen were filled with blood.
Ouachita Parish Judge Larry Jefferson changed the verdict to negligent homicide and sentence Nabors to five years of hard labor with credit for time served, which allowed Nabors to walk a free man.
This is the second time this year a state appeal court has overturned Judge Larry Jefferson’s ruling to free a man convicted of murder.
Steve Tew says Nabor’s case makes three times his office has appealed Judge Jefferson’s decision to vacate a second-degree murder conviction.
“The other case is State vs. Barnett [Judge Jefferson] did it twice in that case he changed the verdict”, says Tew.
Barnett is now serving a life sentence.
Adam McDonald with the Center for Children and Families says in most cases the child knows their abuser.
“80% of child abuse cases are from someone the child knows”, says McDonald.
Two-year-old Jemarion Jackson might have been too young to voice any problems. However McDonald says the key to prevent his from happening again is talking.
“Once they’re able to speak have a open dialogue with your child. What happened when you were alone with this relative? Abuse thrives on secrecy”, says McDonald.
Now that the Court of Appeals has reinstated the jury’s original verdict of second degree murder the case goes back to Judge Jefferson for re-sentencing.