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Michael R. Jackson Guilty in Andrea Boyer Killing

5:59 PM, Feb 22, 2010   |    comments
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ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Michael Renard Jackson has been found guilty of killing Andrea Boyer.

Late this morning, a jury, which started deliberating this morning, announced that Jackson was guilty of first degree murder and sexual battery of Boyer as she went to work on the morning of Jan. 23, 2007.

She was a veterinary technician who worked at the Wells Road Veterinary Clinic.

The victim's husband, Shad Boyer, expressed relief after the guilty verdict was read aloud in court.

"When something like this happens to you there is nothing you can do about it. You just have to believe in the system and this is what we got. We got what we wanted," said Boyer.

Andrea Boyer's sister, Amber Cochlin, said after the verdict that the journey for justice is almost over.

"An eye for an eye," said the victim's older sister in the halls of the Clay County Courthouse. "An eye for an eye and my sister deserves justice and she got that today." 

Jackson is a convicted sex offender who was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but was released after serving less than 13 years.

Testifying in his own defense, Jackson said he and Boyer knew each other previously and were physically acquainted.

The defense claims someone else broke into the Wells Road Veterinary Clinic where Andrea worked and killed her.

State Attorney Angela Corey and Jackson's public defense attorney gave closing arguments Friday evening. The state is seeking the death penalty.

Boyer inside a kennel at the clinic.

A co-worker, Joy Ortiz, testified Monday that she knew something was wrong when she got to work around 7 a.m. that Tuesday. She told the jury the kennel lights were not on and usually were at that time.

Prosecutors told the jury Boyer was bashed in the head with a fire extinguisher and sexually assaulted.

"There was extreme blunt force trauma to the head and obviously tremendous amount of blood loss," David Krika, a former Clay County deputy who was the first law enforcement officer on the scene, testified.

Jackson's attorney, Sean Espenship, argued that investigators did not collect evidence from the entire crime scene, and stopped after Jackson's arrest.  Jackson is a convicted sex offender who previously spent more than a decade in prison.

The assistant state attorney argued that Jackson's DNA was the only DNA found on Boyer's body, linking him to the crime.

"DNA is so powerful, you can't argue with it. It can't emphasize anything other than pure, raw, completely objective data," the prosecutor said.

The jury that convicted Jackson of murder will meet again in three weeks to recommend punishment.  The state is seeking the death penalty for Jackson.

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