Mt. Olive Man Sentenced to 8 Years in State Prison for Strict Liability Drug- Induced Death

MORRIS COUNTY —  Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that Kayron Jackson, aka Alkama Jackson, aka “Keys”, 38, of Mount Olive, has been convicted and sentenced for his involvement in the May 2017 death of Jennifer Ward, 35, in Jefferson Township.

Jackson was sentenced by the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr. to eight years in New Jersey State Prison as a result of his previous guilty plea to the crime of first degree Strict Liability for Drug Induced Death.

Jackson will be required to serve eighty-five percent of that sentence before being eligible for parole pursuant to the “No Early Release Act” (NERA).

He will also be subject to a five-year period of parole supervision upon his release from prison. Jackson had previously pled guilty to this crime on June 27, 2018.

In October 2017, Jackson was charged by way of an eighteen count Indictment with various crimes, including the first-degree crime of Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death, and other drug-related crimes.

These charges stemmed from an investigation into the death of Jennifer Ward, who was discovered deceased in her Jefferson Township home on the morning of May 5, 2017. The investigation ultimately revealed that Jackson distributed Fentanyl to Ward in Mount Olive, New Jersey on the night before her death.

Jackson was initially charged by way of warrant-complaint in July 2017. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Troiano represented the State in this matter. The first degree crime of Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9, 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 conviction and sentence marks the second successful prosecution by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office of Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death in the last year.

In September 2017, Blaine Holley was also sentenced to eight years in New Jersey State Prison as a result of his guilty plea to the crime of first degree Strict Liability for Drug Induced Death. Holley’s conviction resulted from a fatal overdose in Hanover Township in September 2016. Prosecutor Knapp stated, “The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with other County and local law enforcement agencies, continues to investigate the distribution of controlled dangerous substances that result in fatal overdoses as a homicide.

Significant time and resources are continuously dedicated to this ongoing effort. In addition to the two convictions for Strict Liability for Drug Induced Death, there have been multiple other Defendants convicted and sentenced to periods in State Prison for their distribution of controlled dangerous substances, the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of which factored into the death of others who have fatally overdosed.” Prosecutor Knapp thanks the 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 – Crime Scene Investigation, and the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office who contributed to this investigation and prosecution.

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