HAMILTON, Ohio – Jurors found a 72-year-old Hamilton woman guilty of murder Thursday night for the stabbing death of a Cincinnati resident this past summer.
Delores 'DeeDee' Jackson, of Grant Circle was also found guilty of tampering with evidence in the June 14 death of 56-year-old Diana Ross. Jackson was sentenced to 15 years to life for murder, and 36 months for tampering with evidence moments after her guilty verdict was reached.
Jackson had tears streaming down her face as she faced Ross' family, asking for their forgiveness.
"I am sorry, I did not mean for this to happen," Jackson said. "If she doesn't have a headstone I'll buy one for her."
Her sobbing continued as she faced the victim's daughter for the first time, who said although she felt two families were lost, she hoped something good would come out of the tragedy.
Jackson's sister, Carol Ramsey said in the courtroom, "She did not mean to kill Diana, that's just not DeeDee."
There was little sympathy from sister of Ross, Sharon.
"I feel sorry for you, but you can't go around killing people," she said.
Jackson's case went to jurors after they heard closing arguments on Thursday. Seven men and five women determined her fate.
Earlier Thursday, Jackson's attorney, David Brewer, made the argument that the state's witnesses were not believable. He also got down onto the courtroom floor to simulate how he says Jackson defended herself when she was attacked by Ross.
The prosecution told the jury they shouldn't believe the defense because of what they described as several inconsistencies in her story.
On Wednesday, Jackson took the stand in order to outline her version of what transpired on June 14.
Jackson told the court Ross drove to her house at 505 Monument Street just after 11 p.m. on the night of the of the incident and started an argument. She also testified she believed Ross had been drinking before making the trek to her home.
Although the subject matter of that particular argument is unclear, family members told the Journal-News that the two women had a history of arguing with each other.
Jackson then went on to describe having an “open” folding knife on top of her fanny pack that she was trying to keep away from Ross so “no one would get hurt.”
“I didn’t mean to hurt nobody,” the suspect said, before professing in court that she didn’t know how Ross ended up suffering her fatal stab wounds.
While on the stand, Jackson was asked to address the tampering with evidence charge. She told the court she went back to her house and hid the knife, put a different knife on her porch, changed her shirt because it had blood on it and then put the bloodied shirt in a garbage can.
Brewer said earlier in the week that he planned to argue his client was acting in self-defense.
“This is not a who-done-it case,” Brewer said. “It just is whether there is justification.”
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