Criminal Charge: Child Abuse
Case: State v. Earnest Jackson CF-02-5279
Court: [CF-02-5279, Tulsa County]
Result: Not Guilty
- Read the Tulsa World story on the FIRST Earnest Jackson trial (hung jury)
- Read the Tulsa World story on the SECOND Earnest Jackson trial (acquittal)
Featured numerous times on the television show “America’s Most Wanted”, Tulsa County [OK] arrested Earnest and Kaia Jackson amid great publicity in October 2002 in their Tulsa home living with their four kids. The 1988 New Jersey arrest warrants alleged they physically abused a fifth child fifteen years earlier.
After charging both Jacksons with abusing one of the four Tulsa kids, Jonathan, Tulsa County returned them to New Jersey to stand trial on the 1988 charges where each took a conviction. Thereafter, each returned to Tulsa to stand trial on the new Oklahoma charges involving Jonathan. In September 2002, a Tulsa County jury sentenced Kaia to thirty-five years in the Oklahoma penitentiary, to be served AFTER she discharged her New Jersey sentence.
The Tulsa County District Court appointed Haslam to defend Earnest in his February 2003 trial. The State offered Earnest – a 55 year old man – 35 years to avoid trial. With little to lose and everything to gain, Earnest chose to fight the charge. His first jury hung up after 8 hours of deliberation.
It became clear at the 2003 trial that the State failed to disclose a great deal of evidence . After many motions and hearings – including a motion to disqualify the prosecutor for attempting to improperly influence Jonathan’s testimony on the eve of the retrial – the defense uncovered numerous statements by Jonathan insisting that Earnest had NEVER abused him. These statements were used at the retrial.
After seven days of retrial, THE JURY NEEDED ONLY 45 MINUTES TO RETURN A VERDICT OF NOT GUILTY.