Jade's mother: “I told Jade that she could live at home if she remained sober."
Jade Sasha Janks, 37, denied murdering her step-father Thomas Merriman, 64, during a brief court appearance yesterday, January 12. Janks was arraigned remotely, by video monitor, on one count of murder in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.
The San Diego County Sheriff announced in a press release that deputies went to a home in the 100 block of Nardo Avenue in Solana Beach on January 1, 2021, to conduct a welfare check. Deputies found Merriman’s body and arrested Jade Janks, “who lives at the residence,” for murder.
Jade Sasha Janks is described as 37 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 120 pounds. Thomas Merriman, 64, was described as 5 feet 11 inches tall and 185 pounds.
According to information in court files, Jade Janks was eleven years old when her mother, 36, married Thomas Merriman, 39, in 1995.
In 2002, the year that Jade Janks turned 19, Thomas Merriman, 46, filed for divorce from Janks’ mother who was then 43.
Merriman claimed in a court filing that on Christmas day 2002, his wife threw “all of my step-daughter’s belongings (clothes, toiletries, paintings, etc) off the 2nd floor balcony into the parking lot. She is increasingly violent and verbally abusive.” And Merriman said of his wife, “She has been ransacking the house and is delusional.”
In 2007, Janks was charged with possessing stolen IDs of more than ten persons taken during multiple burglary incidents.
Merriman accused his wife of abusing alcohol and possibly meth. “She has been smashing things and slamming doors and throwing things and putting holes in the walls. She sleeps all day and stays up all night.”
Merriman’s wife responded in a declaration: “I suffer from depression however I am under the care of a therapist and psychiatrist.” She claimed, “I caught my husband using meth in the garage and in an awkward position with Jade, my daughter from a previous relationship.” She claimed that her daughter used heroin and “I told Jade that she could live at home if she remained sober. When I found drug paraphernalia in the home, I threw her items out.”
Merriman accused his wife of lunging at him with a stun gun and “keeping a loaded shotgun in house,” these statements are found in court files. Their divorce was made final, and his ex-wife got a 5 year restraining order against Merriman, in 2017.
Both the defendant Jade Janks and alleged murder victim Thomas Merriman have criminal records in San Diego County.
Jade Janks has been arrested multiple times for drug charges and possession of stolen goods. In 2007, Janks was charged with possessing stolen IDs of more than ten different persons, those taken during multiple burglary incidents. A loaded, silver .25 caliber Derringer was also reportedly found in Janks’ possession.
In 1994, the year before he married Janks’ mother, Thomas Merriman was accused of raping a woman named Jacqlyn. Merriman testified at his own trial, and the jury declared him not guilty of four felony rape charges, but he was found guilty of one lesser offense of battery. Merriman, then 38, served 90 days in local custody for that conviction. The woman who was allegedly battered, Jacqlyn, later won a $50,000 civil suit against Merriman.
Jade Sasha Janks, 37, is next expected in court on January 27, when defense attorney RIck Crawford and prosecutor Teresa Pham will argue regarding a suitable bail amount.