Plea Deal Falls Through, Jackson Headed to Bench Trial

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It looks like Lincoln woman Ashley E. Jackson will be headed for a bench trial in Lancaster County District Court next year.

The 24-year-old was charged with Felony Child Abuse in connection with the drug overdose death of 12 year old Serena Garrett.

Thursday afternoon in courtroom 34, a plea deal fell through. Instead, a bench trial was set for February, 2013. Before then, several court hearings are planned. Since there was no deal struck, it's likely the prosecution will beef up the charge.

Back in March, Serena Garrett was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead at St. Elizabeth's Regional Medical Center.

Police say Garrett died after overdosing on prescription drugs. They say she mixed morphine, methadone and tramadol.

According to police records, Jackson hired Garrett and another 13-year-old girl to babysit her one-year-old twin boys for two nights, March 23 and 24. On the second night, they say Jackson gave the girls permission to have friends over.

Police say she drove two 14-year-old boys and Walker to her house.

According to reports, Jackson bought the teens alcohol and gave them marijuana. It shows she also smoked methamphetamine before leaving for the night.

When Jackson returned home, Garrett was found unresponsive. The teens put Garrett in a cold shower, but were not able to revive her.

The police report shows about 30 minutes passed from when Garrett was discovered to when 911 was called.