Motion for new trial denied in Jermink Lykes case

Published 1:37 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

A request for a new trial in the Jermink Rashon Lykes manslaughter case has been denied.

Circuit Judge Joy Pace Booth, who replaced former Judge Ben Fuller who presided over the case, filed the order denying the motion for a new trial on Feb. 14.

The motion for a new trial, which was filed on Feb. 13, asks for a “judgment of acquittal in the above-styled cause in favor of the Defendant, or in the alternative, the Defendant moves the Court to set aside the verdict entered on January 15, 2023 and grant the Defendant a new trial, or in the alternative, moves the Court to arrest judgment.”

Among the support for the motion the defense stated that the original case had “insufficient evidence … to support a finding that the Defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the Defendant was denied a fair and impartial trial.”

The motion also states that there was video footage taken from the YMCA of Chilton County that was not presented to the defense.

“The Defense asserts that this is a violation of Brady v. Maryland, and that this information was covered in its Motion for Production and Disclosure and Motion to Preserve Evidence,” the court document states. “Testimony at trial showed that the lead detective on this case, Detective Bates, had the video but failed to deliver it and lied under oath about delivering the video footage.”

The defense also claims that the jury received instruction on heat of passion manslaughter even though this legal definition would not have been met in the circumstances that led to the trial and that the presence of SWAT team members in the courtroom “prejudiced the jury by shining a disparaging light on the Defendant by giving the appearance that he was a guilty, dangerous person and unfairly added weight to the circumstantial evidence provided at trial,” according to court documentation.

The defense also claims the judge in the case did not remain impartial.

“The Judge in this case failed to remain impartial as shown by his statements that Lykes is ‘evil’ and that ‘evil exists in the world,’” the court documentation states.

Lykes was found guilty of manslaughter in a 2018 shooting incident after a five-day trial on Oct. 21, 2022. On Jan. 12, 2023, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Lykes had initially been arrested in October 2018 in connection with the death of Nasson Postell, a 21-year-old resident of Clanton. Postell had been found dead near Ollie Park in Clanton with multiple gunshot wounds on Oct. 21, 2018, according to information from the Clanton Police Department at the time of the arrest.