A butterfly activitist drugged and strangled her former stepfather after discovering nude footage of herself on his pc, prosecutors alleged.
Thomas Merriman’s physique was present in January 2021, below a pile of trash on the Solana Seaside, Calif., dwelling he shared with stepdaughter Jade Janks.
The homicide trial of Janks, 39, an inside designer who co-founded the analysis nonprofit Butterfly Farms, started this week in Vista Superior Court docket.
She has pleaded not responsible to killing the 64-year-old Merriman, who prosecutors mentioned died of an overdose of sleeping capsules Janks gave him after she found the images — one among which he reportedly used as his screensaver.
“This was no accident,” San Diego County Deputy District Legal professional Jorge Del Portillo mentioned, in accordance with The San Diego Union-Tribune. “This was homicide by design.”
The images had been taken greater than a decade in the past, consensually, by Janks and her boyfriend, authorities mentioned. It’s unclear how they got here into Merriman’s possession.
Janks discovered the images whereas she was cleansing her stepfather’s condo, who had been hospitalized, Del Portillo added.
She texted with one other man about giving Merriman the capsules, prosecutors contended.
“I simply dosed the hell out of him. Stopping for whiskey then at Dixieland to stall. LMK,” Janks allegedly texted the day she picked Merriman up from the hospital, in accordance with Del Portillo.
Prosecutors allege Janks did the killing “by design.”Fb
Janks appears to second guess her plan in one other textual content message the prosecutors shared.
“He’s waking up,” one alleged textual content learn, in accordance with NBC San Diego. “I actually don’t wish to be the one to do that.”
“I’m about to membership him on the top as he’s waking up,” one other learn.
Janks ultimately known as one other individual for assist, mentioned prosecutors. That individual known as the authorities the subsequent day.
Deputies then searched the house and located Merriman’s physique below a pile of containers, blankets and different trash as they had been leaving.
Attorneys for Janks, the argued that Janks didn’t kill Merriman, who as a substitute died from poor well being and “his personal cocktail” of medication.
“You’ll not discover any proof that he was strangled to dying,” Janks’ lawyer, Marc Carlos advised the jury.