Probable cause found in infant murder case

Published 11:46 pm Thursday, April 30, 2015

By Leah Justice

Probable cause was found in the case against Jermiah Lee Jackson, who faces second-degree murder charges in the death of his five-month-old nephew.

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Judge T. Mack Brittain presided during the probable cause hearing on Wednesday, April 29 in Polk County District Court.

Testimony was heard from officers investigating the case.

The baby was found unresponsive on March 30 after being left in Jackson’s care.

The parents of Cayden Berryman, who had a twin brother, left the twins in Jackson’s care and when they returned home they found Cayden not breathing, according to reports. CPR was performed on the infant and 911 was called. The baby was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital by emergency workers where the baby died.

Jackson, 31, of 23 Freedom Drive Mill Spring, was charged a few days later with second-degree murder.

An autopsy performed by the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office in Winston Salem determined upon preliminary results that the infant suffered from blunt force trauma to the head, which resulted in his death.

Jackson had recently moved to Polk County from South Carolina to live with his brother, the father of the infant, according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports. The sheriff’s office and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) are investigating the case.

Jackson has an extensive criminal history in several states, including a charge of statutory rape, a child abuse conviction, fraud, drug convictions and an outstanding charge of communicating threats, according to sheriff’s office reports.

Jackson is still in custody, being held at the Transylvania County Detention Center for Polk County under a $200,000 bond.

He is being represented by court appointed attorney Scott Sheffron. Jackson’s case has been moved to Polk County Superior Court. His next appearance is scheduled for next Wednesday, May 6 during a superior court administrative session.