Trial for Paso woman charged in mother's death is set for October

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comAugust 6, 2013 

Sunni Jackson appeared in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Thursday, June 27, 2013.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

A woman charged with murdering her mother will face a jury Oct. 1, a judge said Tuesday.

Sunni Daun Jackson, 37, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Earlene Louise Grove, 61, of Paso Robles. Jackson was arrested last year after her mother was found dead in a one-bedroom granny unit.

Jackson, who has a history of mental illness, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Two psychiatric experts hired by the court to analyze Jackson agreed she was insane when the murder was committed. The District Attorney’s Office has yet to decide if they will hire their own expert to evaluate the defendant.

Superior Court Judge John Trice set her trial date during a brief pre-trial hearing Tuesday.

The trial would entail two phases — one to determine whether she committed the crime and the second, if the first results in a conviction, to determine whether she was legally sane at the time.

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