Jade Janks, 39, is standing trial in the US accused of strangling, drugging and killing her stepdad after he used her naked pictures as his phone screensaver. Thomas Merriman allegedly died of an overdose of sleeping pills given to him by Janks after she found her naked photos on his computer, according to prosecutors. He was found by police under a pile of rubbish at his home in Solana Beach, California. Janks denies the charges.
During the trial at the Vista Superior Court San Diego, County Deputy District Attorney Jorge Del Portillo said: “This was no accident. This was murder by design.”
Authorities say the photos were taken consensually by Janks and her boyfriend but it is unclear how they ended up on Mierrimen’s computer.
The court heard that Janks found them whilst cleaning her stepdads flat when he was in the hospital.
Prosecutors say Janks texted a man on the day she picked him up from hospital, suggesting she gave him sleeping drugs.
She wrote: “I just dosed the hell out of him. Stopping for whiskey then at Dixieland to stall. LMK.”
The court heard that in another text she said: He’s waking up. I really don’t want to be the one to do this.
“I am about to club him on the head as he is waking up.
“I can’t carry him alone and I can’t keep a kicking body in my trunk.”
Several hours later she allegedly called another person to help when authorities were alerted to the texts and called to the house.
Police arrived and found Merriman’s body under a pile of rubbish including blankets and boxes.
Lawyers argue that Merriman died of poor health and “his own cocktail of drugs”.
Jank’s lawyer, Marc Carlos, told the jury: “You will not find any evidence that he was strangled to death. The science does not support strangulation.”
The trail continues.