Three murder cases in Polk court Wednesday

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Murder is rare in Polk County but over the past year the Polk County Sheriff’s Office has charged three people with murder of Polk residents.

Today, Wednesday, Aug. 26, all three Polk County murder cases are scheduled for court.

Brittany Crockett

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Crockett, 27, of Butter Street, Landrum, was arrested earlier this month and charged with the first-degree murder of Jeffrey Scott Brittain, 51, of Mill Spring.

Crockett died on Aug. 5 after being admitted to Rutherford Regional Medical Center under the initial assumption he was having an allergic reaction to medication. He later died.

Family members contacted Capt. BJ Bayne with the sheriff’s office with suspicions Brittain had been poisoned. Following interviews, the sheriff’s office suspected Crockett of poisoning Brittain, with what was later identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as Paraquat. According to the Center for Disease Control, Paraquat is a toxic chemical widely used as an herbicide, primarily for weed and grass control. Paraquat has restricted use, meaning only licensed persons are allowed to use it.

Crockett is currently being held for Polk County under no bond at the Transylvania County Jail. Her probable cause hearing is set for today during Polk County District Court.

Jeremiah Lee Jackson

Jackson was charged with second-degree murder by the sheriff’s office following the death of his five-month old nephew.

Jackson, who was 31 at the time of his arrest, was charged on March 30 this year after the baby was found unresponsive while in Jackson’s care. An autopsy of the infant, of 23 Freedom Drive, Mill Spring, indicated he died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Jackson is still in jail under a $200,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear on Wednesday at a Polk County Superior Court Administrative session.

Michael Harrington

Harrington, who was 25 at the time of his arrest last September, faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Elisif Bruun, 24, who died of a drug overdose, with drugs allegedly shipped to her from Harrington. Harrington was arrested in Philadelphia, Penn. and extradited to Polk County on Aug. 29, 2014.

Harrington is accused of mailing Bruun drugs that she took and overdosed from at a Polk County medical facility.

A Polk County grand jury handed down true bills of indictment on Harrington for second-degree murder from drug distribution, two counts of sell/deliver a schedule I controlled substance and one count of sell/deliver a schedule II controlled substance, according to court records. Harrington is accused of mailing heroine and cocaine to Bruun.

According to North Carolina law, a person can be charged with murder if they deliver a drug that causes a death. Harrington’s case was the first in the area where there was no hand-to-hand contact with the drugs being delivered by mail.

Harrington is being held in Polk County’s custody under a $450,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear during the Polk County Superior Court Administrative session today.

Capt. Bayne is the arresting officer in all three murder cases.