According to court documents Jason Sharp would sexually assault and murder Tracy Morris
Jason Sharp would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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Jason Sharp is incarcerated at Holman Prison
Jason Sharp Case
The following dates and events are relevant to an understanding of some of the issues the appellant (Jason Sharp) raises in his brief to this court:
Lynn Morris testified that she was the victim’s mother, that the victim was a nurse who worked from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m., and that the victim ate dinner with her each night before she went to work. The victim telephoned her around 3:30 p.m. on January 2, 1999, and said she was on her way out the door, but she never showed up for dinner and did not return numerous calls. Around 5:00 p.m., Morris drove to the victim’s house, saw the victim’s vehicle in the carport, and entered the house through the kitchen. She saw the items the victim would have carried to work with her scattered about the kitchen floor, heard the victim breathing loudly, and started looking for the victim.
Morris testified that, when she got to the victim’s bedroom, she found the victim lying on the floor. Her pants were down at her ankles, her bra was around her neck and had blood on it, and she had duct tape on her hand. She telephoned her husband and emergency personnel for help. Finally, Morris testified that the appellant had washed vehicles for her family and for the victim for approximately one year before the victim was murdered.
Lieutenant Jim Wynn of the Huntsville Police Department testified that he responded to the victim’s house between 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on January 2, 1999. At that time, the victim was on her back in the bedroom. Her pants and panties were around her knees or ankles; her bra was up over her breasts; she had blood all over her chest; her face was badly beaten; she had duct tape on at least one wrist; and her breathing was very labored. Wynn also testified that it appeared that there had been a struggle in the kitchen and that he believed he was investigating a burglary and a rape.
Kim Hellums testified that she was working as a nurse in the Huntsville Hospital Emergency Room on January 2, 1999, when the victim arrived for treatment. Even though she ultimately realized that she knew the victim, the victim’s face was so swollen she was not recognizable. The victim also had duct tape on both hands and a lot of dried blood on her. Hellums testified that, when she examined the victim’s groin area, she saw signs of swelling and bruising around the perineal and vaginal areas and on the inside of her thigh that looked traumatic. She also saw traces of blood and what appeared to be dried semen on the inside of her thigh area. Hellums testified that, in her experience, she had seen that degree of swelling and bruising of the vaginal area only in cases involving sexual assault and that, in her opinion, the victim had been brutally raped.
Investigator Kathy Pierce of the Huntsville Police Department testified that she spoke to the appellant (Jason Sharp) about the murder on January 5, 1999. At that time, the appellant (Jason Sharp) said he had had sexual intercourse with the victim about four months before and that he had last spoken to her about two months before. With regard to the day the victim was murdered, the appellant (Jason Sharp) stated that he worked until about 11:00 a.m.; that he visited with some friends who processed deer until 2:00 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.; that he noticed a police vehicle near the victim’s neighborhood while he and his wife were driving in the area later that day; that he asked his wife if she thought something could be wrong at the victim’s house; that they drove by the victim’s house and then back home; and that, later that night, he saw on television that the victim had been murdered. Afterward, he provided a DNA sample.
Pierce scheduled another interview with the appellant (Jason Sharp) for one week later at 1:00 p.m. on January 12, 1999. However, around 11:00 a.m. on January 12, 1999, the appellant (Jason Sharp) telephoned her, told her he could not come in because his grandmother in Tennessee was having surgery, and said he would return on January 15, 1999. Afterward, Pierce went to the place where the appellant worked. The next day, she went to the house of Chad and Brad Jenkins, the appellant’s friends who processed deer, and she saw a vehicle there that was registered to the appellant’s wife.
On January 15, 1999, Pierce went back to the Jenkins’ house to check the appellant’s alibi for January 2, 1999. When she arrived, she saw the appellant’s vehicle and confirmed that the appellant (Jason Sharp) had been there but had left. Thereafter, she learned that the appellant’s father lived near the Jenkins’ house, and she and other officers went to that house. Although they could hear the television and a clothes dryer running, no one would answer the door. Ultimately, officers contacted the appellant’s father, who allowed them to enter the house, and they located the appellant completely under the covers of a bed in a back bedroom. Officers arrested the appellant that day.
Cassandra Knight testified that she and the appellant got married on June 1, 1997, and got divorced on September 25, 1999. She also testified that, on January 2, 1999, the appellant came home from work between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and that, while they were out later that evening, they drove by the victim’s house when they saw law enforcement vehicles in her neighborhood. Finally, she testified that she went to Tennessee on January 11, 1999, because her grandmother was having surgery, but stated that the appellant did not go with her.
Chad Jenkins testified that the appellant spent the two nights before he was arrested at his house; that the appellant was gone on the morning of January 15, 1999, when law enforcement officers arrived at the house; and that the appellant’s father lived about one mile from his house. He also testified that he did not remember the appellant helping them process deer during January 1999.
Dr. Stephen Pustilnik testified that he was a medical examiner with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in January 1999; that he performed an autopsy on the victim’s body on January 4, 1999; and that the victim died as a result of multiple sharp and blunt force injuries. The victim had sustained various injuries to her head, neck, left hand, ribs, and rectum as a result of blunt force trauma. An external examination showed that she had also sustained fifteen stab wounds and twelve or fourteen additional abrasions to her chest and abdominal areas. However, an internal examination revealed that she had actually sustained many additional stab wounds. Pustilnik testified that it was his opinion that the victim was stabbed with a flathead screwdriver.
On cross-examination, Pustilnik testified that he saw two lacerations to the victim’s vagina and lacerations in her rectum, but did not see any signs of trauma to her external genitalia. During his testimony, the following also occurred:
“[DEFENSE COUNSEL:] If someone testified that they observed this same person you examined in that report and they said it was among the most dramatic sexual assault things I’d ever seen, would that be consistent with your findings?
“[PUSTILNIK:] Oh, heck no.
“[DEFENSE COUNSEL:] Okay.
“[PUSTILNIK:] No. She had two little lacerations but I wouldn’t call that traumatic.”
(R. 774.) However, on redirect examination, Pustilnik admitted that the victim’s condition was consistent with some sexual assault victims he had seen; that it was possible that lividity had obscured some of the bruising Hellums had observed in the genital area; and that the “lacerations in the rectum [were] an indication of penetrative trauma to the rectum ․ suffered at or near the time of her death.” (R. 778-79.) Finally, he testified that he could not state whether the injuries were caused by consensual sexual intercourse or rape.
Rodger Morrison, a forensic scientist employed by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, testified that forensic testing revealed that semen stains from the victim’s thigh and from the carpet from her bedroom matched the appellant’s DNA. He also testified that forensic testing in 1999 revealed that the appellant and Lance Pepper were potential sources of DNA that was found in the victim’s vagina. Finally, he testified newer forensic testing in 2006 eliminated Pepper and included the appellant as a potential source of the DNA that was found in the victim’s vagina.