A Virginia man was put to death on Thursday after being convicted of raping and killing an 88-year-old woman in 2002. Officials say that 33-year-old Jerry Terrel Jackson was put to death via lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center and was officially pronounced dead shortly after 9PM EST.
Jackson was convicted for breaking into the Williamsburg apartment of seamstress Ruth Phillips in 2001 and raping her. Prosecutors at the time said that he smothered her to death with a pillow. After the sexual assault, he returned to the apartment through a back window and stole the woman’s car and $60, which he later used to purchase marijuana. Her body was later found by her son after he noticed that she hadn’t attended church nor was she answering her phone.
He was later convicted by a jury because his finger print was found on a piece of paper inside the wallet of Phillips. In addition, his hair was found on her body.
Jackson was the first inmate to be put to death in the state this year, according to the attorney general’s office. After Jackson was pronounced dead, Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s Attorney General said the following in a statement, “Tonight, the death sentence of Jerry Jackson was carried out by the Commonwealth of Virginia for the brutal rape and murder of Ruth Phillips.”
Jackson had been on death row since 2003, a year after he was convicted. He was the first person in the state to be executed via a sedative that included penobarbital. Jackson was the 32nd person overall to be executed in the United States this year.