MORRIS COUNTY — A Mount Olive man has been charged with crimes related to the May death of Jennifer Ward, 35, in Jefferson Township, according to Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Mount Olive Police Chief Stephen Beecher, and Jefferson Township Police Chief William Craig.
Kayron Jackson, aka Alkama Jackson, aka “Keys,” 37, was charged July 27 by Warrant-Complaint with the first-degree crime of Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death, and the third degree crime of Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Fentanyl). The charges were authorized by state Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Critchley in Morristown. Jackson was arrested on these charges on July 28 in Mount Olive and remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings.
On the morning of May 5, law enforcement responded to 88 Mase Road, Jefferson, on a report of a female who was unconscious and not breathing. The female, who was pronounced as deceased at the scene, was identified as Jennifer Ward. The investigation would reveal that Ward was the victim of a fatal drug overdose.
Through a subsequent investigation, it is alleged that Jackson distributed fentanyl to Ward in Mount Olive on May 4, the evening before she was found dead. It is further alleged that the ingestion of the fentanyl distributed by Jackson to Ward resulted in Ward’s death.
Jackson has been charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9. This statute provides that any person who manufactures, distributes or dispenses any of a number of controlled dangerous substances is strictly liable for a death that results from the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of that substance. This is a first-degree crime, which is punishable by up to twenty years in New Jersey State Prison and is subject to the 85 percent parole ineligibility requirements of the No Early Release Act.
Members of the Mount Olive Police Department, Jefferson Township Police Department, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Special Enforcement Unit, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office – Criminal Investigation Section, and the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office have contributed to this investigation.
Editors Note: A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.