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Woman pleads not guilty in Leimert Park slayings

Prosecutors debate possible death penalty

City News Service | 8/2/2018, 9:51 a.m.
A Los Angeles woman, who’s accused of killing a disabled man and his mother and stepfather..
N. Jackson

A Los Angeles woman, who’s accused of killing a disabled man and his mother and stepfather at their Leimert Park home after they took her in and gave her a place to stay, pleaded not guilty this week to triple murder charges.

Nancy Amelia Jackson, 56, is also facing a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, but prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

She is being held without bail in the killings of Phillip White, 65; his mother, Orsie Carter, 79; and his stepfather, William Carter, 83. The family had invited Jackson to live with them when she was down on her luck, according to police.

At a May news conference at Los Angeles Police Department headquarters with the victims’ family looking on, Capt. Peter Whittingham told reporters, “What I have seen indicates that this lady was manipulative in nature (and) took unfair advantage of the illness of Mr. White and frowned upon anybody intervening, including his mother and stepdad.’’

The LAPD captain -- who said investigators have a case “supported by verified ballistic and forensic evidence’’ -- told reporters that Jackson went from being a “mere person of interest, maybe even a material witness’’ to being arrested and charged in the “senseless and brutal murder of this innocent family.’’

“... We have identified, developed evidence that now in our minds conclusively identified the only suspect who is responsible in this case,’’ Whittingham said.

He said a driver’s license photo released by police when they were trying to track down Jackson, showing her smiling, was “deceiving,’’ telling reporters that what he saw was “pure evil in that individual.’’

Jackson had been staying at White’s home for three to six weeks and “had some prior knowledge years ago of Phillip,’’ the police captain said.

He said “this was a case where you have somebody who was down and out on their luck, it appears, and found somebody, a kind-hearted, giving person, to provide help and support and give her a chance to get off the street. But in so doing, she also used that opportunity, in my view, to manipulate Mr. Phillip White, who as we know was disabled, and take unfair advantage of him and his kindness.’’

White’s mother, who was her son’s legal caretaker, had insisted that Jackson leave, “and nobody was going to get between her and a good thing,’’ Whittingham said.

The bodies were discovered around 8:20 p.m. May 22 inside White’s home in the 3900 block of South Bronson Avenue. White and his mother were shot in the chest and head, respectively, and her husband died of blunt force head trauma, according to the coroner’s office.

“Without being too vivid, it’s a case where you have three bodies piled on each other,’’ Whittingham said. “... It’s just a sad way to spend your last days or your last breath.’’

Jackson was arrested the day after the killings in Culver City.

Jackson was ordered back to court on Sept. 17, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.