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A woman accused of murdering her ex-stepdad after she realised he had nude photos of her as his computer wallpaper has opened up on the “gut-wrenching” moment she spotted th explicit snaps.
Jade Janks denies drugging, strangling and suffocating Thomas Merriman, 64, with a plastic bag on December 31, 2020.
The 39-year-old, who runs an interior design company in San Diago, California, admitted she was "beyond freaked out" but insists Merriman died due to ill health and his own cocktail of sleeping pills.
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But Deputy District Attorney Jorge Del Portillo claimed: “This was no accident. This was murder by design” with Janks allegedly sending texts including one that read: “He’s waking up. I really don’t want to be the one to do this.”
Now, Janks has told of the exact moment she realised Merriman had allegedly stored around 100 nude photos of her, at a testimony during her trial on Friday, December 16.
She explained: "When I went to clean in his office area, I'm wiping things down, I bumped the mouse, and it shook the screen awake.
“There's a picture of female breasts on the screen. I have a beauty mark on my chest, those are my breasts.
"It was the most violating, awful, gut-wrenching feeling ever. I felt sick, I felt I couldn't even touch my own skin. I don't know if there are words, not even in a movie have I seen something so sick."
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Janks' attorney Marc Carlos argued: “The medical examiner will not tell you it was strangulation. The science does not support strangulation.
“Jade Janks loved her stepfather. Tom Merriman loved Jade Janks. Unfortunately, Tom Merriman was a troubled individual, and he loved her in different ways.”
Since her arrest, Janks has been free on a $1million bail albeit with a GPS anklet. At the time her bail was set, prosecutors argued the suspect had the financial resources to flee and connections in South Africa.
The trial continues.
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