Leslie Co. man convicted of three murders gets new trial

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

CLAY Co., Ky. (WYMT) - A man serving a life sentence for killing three children in Leslie County in 2004 will get a new trial.

The Kentucky Supreme Court said one juror in Clayton Jackson's murder trial should have been removed.

Chris and Amanda Sturgill were murdered alongside their three children in February 2004. Police say someone set their trailer on fire.

Clayton Jackson was arrested in 2007 on arson and five murder charges.

In 2011, he went on trial and was convicted for killing three children and sentenced to life in prison.

For the past nine years Rebecca Smallwood, the foster mother of Amanda Sturgill, and Linda Roark, the mother of Chris Sturgill say they have been on an emotional roller coaster.

"I can still hear their voices in my mind and I run across things with their handwriting like a little note," said Smallwood.

The jury could not agree on a verdict for the parents, who were allegedly shot with a bow and arrow.

Now almost two years later, the Supreme Court has granted Jackson a new trial.

"To relive all of that again and to hear my grandchildren screaming," said Roark.

These mothers say they don't want to go through another trial again.

They have hope that Jackson could get convicted of all five murders this time, but there is one fear.

"That he will get out, that he will walk, and get to live a life that my son, her daughter and our grandchildren don't have anymore," said Roark.

They say more than anything, they just want the truth.

No court dates have been set yet.

The Kentucky Supreme Court said the judge should have granted a juror's wish not to serve in the case because he was a friend of the victim's brother.

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