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Jackson requests new trial for life sentence
Philemon Jackson new trial motion
Philemon Jackson listened to his attorney Richard Darden plea his case for a new trial. (Photo/Kayla Gamble)

Judge Robert Russell denied defense attorney Richard Darden’s amended motion for a new trial for Philemon Jackson. The motion hearing was heard by Russell on July 15 during criminal non-jury calendar hearings.

Jackson shot and killed teenager Clyde Weeks on Feb. 15 after an altercation outside of a home on Jubail Drive in the Eagles Landing subdivision. Jackson had originally gone to the home to confront a friend of Weeks’, Garret Champion. However, after an argument with Weeks, Jackson went to his car to retrieve a gun. Weeks reportedly told Jackson to “fight him like a man,” convincing Jackson to return his gun to his car and physically fight Weeks. Jackson lost the fight and subsequently returned to his car to get his gun. Champion and Weeks attempted to flee, but Weeks was shot in the back four times.

First responders were called to the scene. Hinesville Police Officer Stephen Menges arrived on scene and reported that Weeks had no pulse. Liberty Regional EMS attempted to revive him before taking him to Liberty Regional Medical Center where he was officially pronounced dead.

Jackson, who was 21 at the time, was charged with one count of murder, three counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies. Bond was set for Jackson in March 2017 at $500,000 cash or $1 million in property.

Defense listed several key points in their argument, one of them being that evidence didn’t match given testimonies and that a key eye witness was not available for questioning. A young man who is only referred to by the defense as “Elijah” fled the scene and was not available for trial. The shooting took place outside of Elijah’s house and his mother was the one to call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 call was also called into question by Darden as hearsay and was asked to be dismissed. Prosecutor Bonnie Show started that due to the call being made during the incident and for the purpose of receiving help, it did not count as hearsay. She also pointed out that the defense did not object to the call being played during the original trial.

A back and forth between Shaw and Darden was had concerning a juror’s possible law enforcement experience. A witness claimed she overheard a possible juror claim to have prior law enforcement experience, though it was determined that the juror didn’t lie when asked about this knowledge.  

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