Man appeals conviction for killing Fairfield police officer

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The man convicted of killing a Fairfield Police officer wants a new trial.

Attorneys for Demetrius Jackson appeared Thursday before the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, asking for a new trial for their client.  The attorneys said evidence presented at the trial was questionable.

Jackson was convicted in 2007 of shooting and killing Fairfield police officer Mary Smith during a traffic stop in October 2006.  Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, who spoke on Jackson's behalf Thursday, said evidence that pointed to Jackson as the triggerman was based on hearsay evidence and said a fingerprint which revealed Jackson's criminal  past history should not have been revealed to the jury.

"We believe there are problems with this case and Mr. Jackson is entitled to a new trial," Stevenson said. "The jury had a hard time deciding if the was guilty of this crime."

Smith's family attended Thursday's hearing, which was held at Samford University, including Smith's daughter, Rasheka, and her godfather, State Rep. John Rogers.

"I'm for the old west days," Rogers said. "You catch them and hang them on the spot and get it over with."

Rogers said the family does not want to go through another trial.

"It's sickening and frightening Resheka and them suffer about it already," Rogers said. "To keep bring it up again, again in the appeal process, only lengthens the suffering."

Samford University law students, as well as Birmingham area high school students, attended the hearing and were impressed.

"I thought the defense made an impressive case," Noel Bagwell, a Cumberland Law School student, said. "The state has their work cut out for them."

One Ramsay High School student said the hearing reinforced her desire to enter the legal profession.

"This is a  big thing for me," said Miannica Lowe, student at Ramsay High School. "It set out I want to be a lawyer. There is no choice but to go to law school."