CHICAGO — A Chicago family is furious after the man accused of killing their mother and stuffing her body in a suitcase walked out of court a free man this weekend.
Loved ones of Daisy Hayes say they want the judge in the case voted out of office, calling the acquittal of 75-year-old Jimmy Jackson a travesty of justice.
It’s been four years of marching and fighting.
“I want him convicted, then I’ll be happy, and I have my mother’s remains,” Hayes’ daughter said.
This weekend, 75-year-old Jimmy Jackson was acquitted. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diana Kenworthy said there wasn’t enough evidence.
“This man is a free man,” said KOCO Executive Director Shannon Bennett. “He was released that night.”
It’s not the first time Jackson walked free from murder charges. In 1985, he was charged with two counts of murder before prosecutors dropped the case six months later.
“We sat through the whole trial,” said Hayes’ niece Loinda Jones. “Everyone in the courtroom was shocked.”
Hayes, 65, went inside her Woodlawn apartment on May 1, 2018. She never walked out.
“She left that apartment in a suitcase,” Jones said.
Video shows her boyfriend leaving with a packed suitcase the next day — one big enough to fit her 85-pound body. Surveillance footage then shows him struggling with the luggage, throwing it in a dumpster, and concealing it with trash.
“The video shows Mr. Jackson entering in and out of Daisy’s apartment numerous times with a suitcase, cleaning supplies, mops, mop buckets, so of course, there was no physical evidence or a sign of a struggle because he had time to clean up everything he had done,” said Hayes’ daughter Teresa Smith.
Yet Judge Kenworthy said there wasn’t enough evidence to convict. No DNA. No body.
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“Daisy did not only not receive justice, but she was put on trial by what I would call a renegade judge,” Bennett said.
Judge Kenworthy cannot legally comment on the case.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office says it prosecuted the case to the fullest extent allowed. But Hayes’ daughter says the judge put her mother on trial, calling her drunk and de-valuing her life.
She adds that the circumstances would have differed if Hayes were a white woman.
“Daisy was a human. It doesn’t matter what she did or how she did it,” Smith said. “Where is her body? She was never found.”