Local News

Wednesday, Feb 05 2014 07:58 AM

Two defendants held for trial in pot shop double homicide

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    Aaron Patrick Burris

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Miracle Jackson

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BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Two defendants charged with murder in a double-homicide last summer at a Bakersfield medical marijuana dispensary were ordered held for trial Tuesday following a preliminary hearing in which it was revealed that defendant Miracle Jackson told officers one of the victims had previously tried to coax her into prostitution.

Aaron Patrick Burris, 32, and Miracle Jackson, 16 at the time of the killings at First Reliable collective, are next scheduled to appear in court Feb. 18. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Burris.

Prosecutors say Burris shot and killed 23-year-old Devin Daniels and 55-year-old Tony Sherman the morning of July 17. Daniels was a security guard at the business, and Sherman often hung out at the shop at 217 Chester Ave.

Burris was taken into custody July 26 after being tracked to an Oildale apartment. Jackson fled town after the shooting and was arrested Aug. 8 by officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Under questioning, she told police Sherman had previously tried to "pimp her out," according to testimony from a police sergeant Tuesday. She said Sherman also had sold her marijuana from the back of the shop.

The sergeant said Jackson admitted to being at the pot shop when the shooting occurred. She said she arrived with a man she knew as "Corn," and that she didn't know the man's real first or last name.

The sergeant said she told him she ran from the business after the shooting. He told her that was inaccurate, and played the shop's surveillance footage for her. The footage showed she stayed and wiped down a front counter that both she and Burris had touched.

Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman, who is representing Burris with Deputy Public Defender Pam Singh, called into question the veracity of Jackson's statements to police. He said she's repeatedly proven to have lied and is an unreliable witness.

Cadman also said there is no probable cause linking Burris with the shootings. He said prosecutors have not proven that the armed man seen on the shop's surveillance footage is Burris.

Redacted police reports say the surveillance footage showed Burris fired three shots at Sherman. After ordering Daniels to remove marijuana from display cases and money from the cash drawer, Burris walked back to where Sherman was lying and fired a fourth shot, according to the reports.

Prosecutors say Burris then shot and killed Daniels.

Police said the robbery netted the pair $20 in cash and 80.5 grams of pot.

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