Case continued for Helena hit-and-run suspect

Published 1:40 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2017

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA–A suspect who was allegedly involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident in Helena on May 2, 2016, appeared in court on Feb. 7, for a status call hearing where the case will be continued. A new status call hearing is scheduled for April 25.



The case was continued “Upon motion of the parties to complete and review discovery, evidence, witnesses, testimony, sentencing standards and/or promote settlement,” according to court documents filed on Feb. 7.

Damian Lamar Jackson was arrested and charged with manslaughter, unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries on May 3, 2016. The charges came after 33-year-old Helena resident Holley Myrick was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident on the afternoon of Monday, May 2, 2016.

Jackson allegedly struck her with a Yukon XL SUV and fled the scene of the accident, but was later apprehended after an Alabaster police officer located Jackson and the Yukon in a driveway in Alabaster.

On Aug. 11, 2016, charges of manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance against Jackson were bound over to a grand jury after a preliminary hearing.

Circuit Court Judge Lara Alvis, on Jan. 3, denied a bond reduction request from the 28-year-old Jackson, after “counsel from both sides presented their respective positions.”

The request to lower Jackson’s bond, which was filed in early December 2016 by Jackson’s attorney, Dan Alexander, claims Jackson’s $75,000 bond is “inappropriately and unconstitutionally high” for a non-capital offense.

The motion also stated the defendant’s “age, residence, employment, financial condition, background, family ties and relationships, lack of a significant prior criminal record and reliability as vouched by responsible members of the community” as other reasons to lower the bond.

Jackson wanted a reduced bond in order to be released under supervision of a pre-trial release or to be released to reside at a work release center, according to court documents.

Manslaughter is a Class B felony and if convicted, Jackson faces up to 20 years in prison.

Leaving the scene of an accident with injury is a Class C felony and if convicted, Jackson faces up to 10 years in prison.

Jackson will remain in the Shelby County jail and is set to appear in court next for the status call hearing on April 25, at 8:30 a.m.