In ABC News’ ‘20/20: Deadly Daughter,’ the viewers learn about the startling case of Jennifer Jackson’s murder and how her daughter, Noura Jackson, was initially convicted based on circumstantial evidence. In June 2005, Jennifer was found brutally stabbed to death, with the authorities believing that her daughter was responsible. However, Noura always maintained her innocence. So, if you’re curious about what happened in this case and where she might be today, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Noura Jackson?
Noura Jackson was born to Nazmi Hassanieh and Jennifer Jackson. However, the couple’s marriage turned sour, and they divorced soon after. In a tragic turn of events, Nazmi died in January 2004 when he was shot to death at the gas station he owned. At the time, the authorities believed it was an assassination. There were rumors about Nazmi’s limousines being used to conduct illicit drug deals, with him possibly having videotape evidence of that. However, Nazmi’s murder remained unsolved.
At the time of the incident, Noura lived with her mother and was close to her. She said, “When you have a single-parent family, the bond is closer. It’s not just your mom.” More than a year later, Noura dealt with another blow when she discovered her unresponsive mother in her bedroom at their home in Memphis, Tennessee. Jennifer was stabbed more than 50 times and was found by Noura at around 5 am on June 5, 2005.
When questioned, Noura, then 18, told the police that she was at the local Italian festival on the evening of June 4 after she got her nails done during the day. Then, Noura said she had attended two parties. At around 12:46 am, she said she went to a gas station to buy cigarettes, then to a friend’s place at about 3:30 am, and got gas at 4:20 am. Noura maintained that she got home at 5 am when she found her mother. However, phone records painted a different picture.
Noura’s phone was quiet between 1 am and 3 am, the time when the police believed Jennifer was killed. Furthermore, it appeared that Noura was home before 5 am, contradicting her initial statement. Not just that, the authorities had noticed a cut on her left hand that she claimed happened because of a fall at the festival. But Noura failed to mention a trip to the local pharmacy at around 4 am when she bought first-aid supplies for the cut. The surveillance video appeared to show Noura asking for a towel to dab the cut, suggesting the wound was new.
Moreover, some of Noura’s friends said they last saw her around midnight. One friend, Kirby McDonald, remembered Noura cursing Jennifer. She added, “Noura said, ‘My Mom’s a bitch, and she needs to go to hell.'” The investigation also revealed tension between the mother and daughter, and the authorities felt that Noura killed Jennifer in a fit of rage and tried covering it up. Soon, Noura was arrested.
Nevertheless, the authorities had no physical evidence connecting Noura to the murder. They concentrated heavily on the cut on her hand at the time. While some friends said they didn’t remember Noura having a wound, a former friend later testified that Noura asked for a bandage at the party. Furthermore, Noura maintained that the trip to Walgreens was unimportant and said her mother had already bought a set of bandages; Jennifer wrote it down on a shopping list.
Furthermore, Noura and others believed Nazmi’s enemies could have killed Jennifer. At Noura’s trial in February 2009, the prosecution stated that she provided different stories to people regarding the cut on her hand. Andrew Hammack, who claimed he was one of Noura’s “friends with benefits,” said she called and texted him around the time Jennifer died and asked him to come over. On the other hand, the defense pointed to a lack of physical evidence and said her body didn’t show any signs of being in a struggle.
Where is Noura Jackson Today?
In February 2009, Noura Jackson was found guilty of second-degree murder and was later sentenced to 20 years and nine months in prison. Then, in August 2014, the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction. The court ruled that the prosecution withheld a handheld note written by Andrew that contradicted his testimony. In the same note, he admitted to being high on drugs. The court also said that Noura’s constitutional rights to remain silent and not testify were violated.
In May 2015, Noura opted to avoid another trial, signing an Alford plea for voluntary manslaughter, with her sentence being reduced to 15 years. She was released in August 2016 after serving 11 years behind bars. While inside, Noura’s endometriosis got worse, and a doctor later recommended a hysterectomy. She initially lived with Ansley Larsson, a family friend, in Memphis, before moving to Nashville, Tennessee. There, Noura lived with her girlfriend, an ex-felon, and they seemed to be happy after some difficulty finding an apartment.
Eventually, Noura moved to New York to attend the State University of New York Empire State College, with her case being picked up by the Innocence Project. She dreamed of having a college education and hoped to work in criminal justice reform, especially helping women prisoners. Apart from that, Noura hoped to have a family of her own at some point and has continued to raise awareness about wrongful convictions. She previously worked as a receptionist at an auto shop. However, in July 2022, Noura was arrested in Kentucky after admitting to possessing cocaine, marijuana, and prescription medicine.