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Murder charged on Nardo Street in Solana Beach

A family with many problems

Jade's mother: “I told Jade that she could live at home if she remained sober."
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.

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Jade's mother: “I told Jade that she could live at home if she remained sober."
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.

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Comments
7

There is no doubt more to the story. It is not news that Janks pleaded not guilty as she can not do otherwise at this stage of the legal proceedings. Even if she yelled in court that she did it and refused to enter a plea and her lawyer refused to enter a plea the judge would enter a not guilty plea as he can not accept any other plea.

Jan. 19, 2021

It does seem that defendant Janks intends to fight this murder accusation. Her attorney Rick Crawford already complained in court this morning about "negative" media coverage found in The San Diego READER. Defense attorney Crawford is very experienced and has handled the most serious cases.

Jan. 27, 2021

Today, January 27, 2021, was a court hearing was set to argue bail for Jade Sasha Janks, who is currently on a no-bail hold. But this morning, defense attorney Rick Crawford said he has not yet reviewed “a terabyte of information” he expects to receive from prosecutor Teresa Pham, before he will be prepared to argue bail. Honorable judge Blaine Bowman then set a new bail review date in three weeks, on February 17.

Jan. 27, 2021

Jade Sasha Janks, 37, was in court by video monitor for about 20 mins this afternoon, Wednesday February 17, 2021. Janks has been in jail on a no-bail hold since her arrest January 2, 2021. Her attorney Rick Crawford requested a $500,000 bail amount, saying Janks has no prior arrests for any violent crime, and she enjoys “overwhelming” community support, and the attorney supplied ten character reference letters to the court.
Prosecutor Teresa Pham argued for a continued no-bail hold, claiming Jade Janks’ family is from South Africa, and that Janks is a world traveller, and is a flight risk. The prosecutor further asserted that Janks killed her stepfather after he was recently released from hospital and therefore a particularly vulnerable victim. Honorable judge David Berry set bail at $1 million, and if Janks is able to make bail, the judge ordered Janks to surrender her passport and submit to a GPS ankle monitor within 48 hours of release. Her next court dates are set in March 2021.

Feb. 17, 2021

It appears that Jade Janks is now at liberty, she is no longer held in local custody in San Diego County. Janks may have been able to post the bail amount approved at a previous hearing. Her next court date had been set for this Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in San Diego's North County courthouse in Vista. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/p...

March 1, 2021

Emily Cox, public affairs officer for the Superior Courts of San Diego County, stated that Jade Janks did not appear in court today because “her attorney was authorized to appear on her behalf for this hearing. I believe this hearing was mostly for the purpose of date-setting.” The next court hearing for murder defendant Jade Janks is now set for April 8, to confirm or delay a date of May 5 for a preliminary hearing. It is unclear if defendant Jade Janks, who is currently at liberty on $500,000 bail, is expected to make a personal appearance at the next court date for her murder case.

March 3, 2021

Jade Janks attended a remote court hearing this morning, April 8, 2021. Her attorney requested return of her iPad and MacBook computers, but prosecutor Teresa Pham asked for more time for those to be forensically audited. Defense attorney Rick Crawford also complained that the GPS monitors the defendant wears are a “financial burden,” but Honorable judge James Simmons Jr did not okay their removal today. According to statements made in court, murder defendant Janks is not allowed to travel more than 7 miles from her residence. Her next court hearing is set for May 13, 2021.

April 8, 2021

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