Friday, September 13, 2013

Atlantic City Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Murder of Pleasantville Man

Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain
MAYS LANDING – An Atlantic City man was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder of a Pleasantville man, who was fatally shot during a home invasion in 2011, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.

On June 19, an Atlantic County jury convicted Jeremiah Jackson, 21, of murder and felony murder for the fatal shooting of Ellis Spell, Sr., 51. This morning, he received a 50-year New Jersey State Prison sentence for first-degree murder.
On the evening of Dec. 9, 2011, Jackson and two other unidentified armed men broke into Spells’ Thompson Avenue residence in an attempt to burglarize the home. Spell attempted to stop the men and was fatally shot during an altercation. Spell died of two .22 caliber gunshot wounds.
All three men fled the scene in a vehicle.
Several days after the homicide, arrest warrants were signed for Jackson. On Jan. 20, 2012, Jackson turned himself in to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.
On June 11, the State began a week-long trial against Jackson. Jackson was tried for felony murder, murder, armed robbery, armed burglary, conspiracy, tampering with evidence and weapons offenses.
The defense argued that while Jackson was present at the home during the time of the home invasion, he was accused of the burglary and murder that another man had committed. The defense did not identify the other men or produce any witnesses.
The State, represented by Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy presented 26 witnesses including Spells’ wife and son —who were present at the time of the murder. A friend of Jackson also testified that Jackson told him he committed the murder and asked him to dispose of the murder weapon. The weapon was seized from Jackson’s friend along with a shirt, which was used to clean it and tested positive for Jackson’s DNA.
In addition, to Jackson’s DNA, the State also presented additional physical evidence, which pointed directly to Jackson as the killer, including, text messages from Jackson following the shooting about “getting out of town” and the victim’s blood on a hooded sweatshirt found in Jackson’s car —a vehicle which matched the descriptions witnesses gave to police of the get-away car.
After nearly three days of deliberation, Jackson was found guilty of the most serious offenses —murder, felony murder (murder during the commission of a crime), burglary and two counts of conspiracy.
Prior to sentencing, Jackson addressed the Court, professing that while he was regretful of his involvement, he was not the one who shot the victim and had been “in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people.”
Contrarily, the State argued that an armed Jackson along with two armed accomplices broke down the victim’s door and set forth a course of events which resulted in the death of a hero — crimes that the justice system demands be punished.
“Ellis Spell, Sr., died a hero who was fighting to protect his family,” Levy stated. “When the defendant shot and killed the victim, he not only destroyed a hero, but he also destroyed an entire family.”
In sentencing the defendant, Superior Court Judge Mark Sandson pointed out that Jackson had taken no steps towards identifying the other two perpetrators of the crimes —whose identities remain unknown to the Court.
Jackson’s 50-year sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA). He must serve 85-percent of the sentence before he can become eligible for parole.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.


Post a Comment

Web Analytics