Murder conviction overturned in death of Clay County vet clinic worker

November 21, 2012

A man on death row after being found guilty of the brutal murder of a worker at a Clay County veterinary clinic could be getting a new trial after the Florida Supreme Court tossed out his conviction last week. Michael Jackson was convicted of raping, beating and killing 25-year-old Andrea Boyer shortly after she arrived for work at an Orange Park vet clinic in 2007, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Three years later, Jackson was found guilty and sentenced to death. But the court ruled this week that part of an interview detectives conducted with Jackson was prejudicial to the jury and should not have been played in court, the newspaper reported. The court decision references a section where detectives are heard telling Jackson they know he is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, and other sections that mention Boyer coming from a connected family and being seen as a rising star in the community.

It's impossible to know what tilts the decision for a jury, but the court found these interviews could have done it. Dissenting justices in the 5-2 vote said the DNA evidence linking Jackson to Boyer was likely the reason for the conviction, regardless of any recording played in court. Jackson, who was released from prison just more than a year before Boyer's death after serving time for a 1986 rape at knifepoint, has repeatedly denied killing Boyer, though he did not testify at trial. Prosecutors are appealing the ruling, asking the Supreme Court to review the case again, the newspaper reported. If the court declines, Jackson will face a new trial. He will not be released while he awaits a new trial, though he'll be moved from Death Row back to the Clay County Jail where he waited for his first trial.

The court's decision is a prime example of how technical criminal law can be and how seemingly insignificant details can change the face of an entire Clay County Criminal Case. In any trial, but especially one of this magnitude, a Clay County Violent Crimes Lawyer has to sort through all of the evidence and react quickly to different developments as the case proceeds. When someone is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, there are almost always appeals that follow. It's rare that convictions are overturned and Clay County state attorneys told the newspaper they were surprised by the Supreme Court's decision in this case. If a second trial is needed, prosecutors said they would cut the portions of the video that the Supreme Court mentioned in its ruling.

Our experienced Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer has represented hundreds of people charged with violent crimes and taken dozens of cases to trial. If you or a loved one needs a Criminal Attorney in Clay County or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Clay County Criminal Trial Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.