Huntington man pleads guilty to bludgeoning death of girlfriend, Suffolk DA says
A Huntington man pleaded guilty Friday to bludgeoning his girlfriend to death and leaving her body in a Huntington boardinghouse, the Suffolk district attorney said.
Christopher Jackson, 46, pleaded guilty in New York District Court to first-degree manslaughter in the death of Mareasa Westcott, 47, at The Suffolk Hotel near downtown Huntington in January 2021, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Jackson's attorney Christopher Gioe said his client pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter after the charge was reduced from intentional murder.
"Mr. Jackson is distraught and remorseful for his actions," Gioe said.
Police were first called to the apartment on Jan. 18, 2021, because of a foul odor coming from one of the rooms, prosecutors said. Authorities found the woman’s decomposing body under bedsheets with a note left by Jackson that said, "I’m so, so sorry, I panicked, and I’m running."
The Suffolk County Medical Examiner found Westcott had suffered a fractured skull, nose and orbital bone. Prosecutors said the couple had argued two days earlier and Jackson beat her to death in the apartment.
Jackson surrendered to Suffolk County police a week later. During an interview with police, Jackson admitted beating his girlfriend while she was lying in bed, striking her at least twice with a piece of wood from the bed frame, prosecutors said.
Jackson faces up to 23 years in prison plus 5 years of post-release supervision. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 13.
"This is a tragic case of domestic violence that ended with the senseless death of the victim and now this defendant will have to pay for his actions in prison," Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said in a statement Friday. "While this won’t bring the victim back, the defendant has been called to account for his actions."