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Man Convicted Of Girlfriend's Murder To Get New Trial

Lane County Circuit Court

A Eugene man convicted for the 2016 murder of his girlfriend has successfully appealed for a new trial.

Due to a technicality that happened during his interrogation, Erick Jaquin’s defense argued his right to legal counsel was violated.

Police found the body of Jessica Elizabeth Frank under the floorboards of his home. A witness claimed Jaquin and Frank were fighting, before Jaquin stabbed her repeatedly.

Family photo of Jessica Frank, who was murdered in 2016 when she was 19 years old.

During his 2018 trial, Joaquin’s attorney said prosecutors did not prove the charges, and advised the court not to draw quick conclusions. But the jury declared Jaquin guilty of murder a half hour later.

Frank’s mother, Jennifer Phillips, says authorities told her Jaquin has now been transferred to the Lane County Jail.

“This is where his family is, his children, they can go visit him any time visiting is allowed, and we can never visit our Jessica again which is very, very, distressing.”

Frank is the second child Phillips has lost. Her son, Chad Frank, died of COVID-19 in mid-November.

The DA’s office says the Court of Appeals found the trial judge should have suppressed Jaquin’s statements to detectives. The state Attorney General’s office declined to appeal the ruling to the Oregon Supreme Court. Given the backlog of cases, a new trial could take a year.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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