Two murder trials slated Tuesday in Lima

By J Swygart -



Harris, left, and Jackson, right

LIMA — The second floor of the Allen County Justice Center promises to be bursting at the seams Tuesday as jury selection is slated to begin in not one, but two murder trials taking place simultaneously.

Barring a last-minute resolution of one or both of the cases, several dozen jurors will fill the halls outside the Common Pleas courtrooms Tuesday morning as the murder trials of Jayleontre Harris and Cory Jackson get underway.

Asked if during his tenure on the bench there had ever been two murder trials held simultaneously in Allen County Common Pleas Courts, Judge David Cheney replied, “Heck no!”

Other veteran court employees and members of the prosecuting attorney’s office also could not recall such an occurrence. Parking outside the courthouse that morning will be at a premium.

As the trial for Harris begins in the courtroom of Judge Jeffrey Reed, jurors will hear the case of Cory Jackson in Cheney’s courtroom.

Jackson, who turns 21 on the day his trial begins, is accused of shooting 20-year-old Amari Gooding to death outside the Main Street Pub on Oct. 8, 2016. He was indicted by a grand jury and subsequently was charged with murder with firearm specifications, an unclassified felony, and aggravated robbery with firearm specifications, a felony of the first degree.

Jackson eluded authorities for months after the incident before he was captured in Detroit.

Harris is charged with aggravated murder with a gun, aggravated robbery with a gun and burglary with a gun. Police say Harris killed 46-year-old Eric Staup on May 19, 2016, at Staup’s home at 637 N. Metcalf St., Lima, after going to the home to rob Staup.

Harris, left, and Jackson, right, left, and Jackson, right

By J Swygart

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.