On September 10, 2008, hunters tramping the woods in Campbell County, Tennessee discovered the remains of 33-year-old Jayne Love, who had been missing for four months.
Shortly thereafter, Michael Wilson, who had a record of drug arrests, told police that he had gone with 23-year-old Phillip Pack, Pack’s 37-year-old brother, Russell, and Love when they drove into the woods to take drugs. Wilson said that Phillip mixed a large dose of methamphetamine and injected it into Love. According to Wilson, Love then began feeling ill, so the Pack brothers walked her into the woods. After a while, the brothers returned without Love and they drove out of the forest.
In December 2008, Phillip and Russell Pack were arrested on charges of second degree murder.
Phillip went on trial in March 2010. The prosecution presented evidence of the discovery of Love’s clothing and bones, but there was no forensic evidence on the presence of methamphetamine in her body or whether she died from a methamphetamine overdose.
Wilson told the jury how he had ridden in the bed of a truck driven by Russell Pack. Phillip Pack and Love were in the front seat, he said. In the woods, Phillip mixed a dose of methamphetamine and injected it into Love. Wilson said he commented on the unusually large amount of methamphetamine and Phillip responded, “She can handle it.”
Although Wilson said that he did not see Phillip inject the drug, he assumed that Phillip had injected Love and that Love did not inject herself. Wilson said that he heard Love say her arm was numb and her chest was hurting and, in response, Phillip said that if she was going to vomit, she should get out of the truck. Love got out of the truck, as did the Pack brothers, and all three walked into the woods. Wilson, who admitted he was high from having ingested three or four Oxycontin pills, stayed in the back of the truck. About 30 to 45 minutes later, Wilson said, Phillip and Russell Pack came back to the truck and they drove away.
A detective testified that Phillip gave police conflicting statements. In one statement, he said he last saw Love when they were together in his truck and he thought a police officer was coming after him for a traffic violation. According to the detective, Phillip said he drove behind a church and parked, then walked away, leaving Love with the truck and his keys. He claimed he did not see her again. In the other statement, Phillip said he drove to the woods with his brother, Love and another man after leaving a party. He said they stopped to use drugs and then he became paranoid about his truck and left the group and drove away.
On March 25, 2010, a jury convicted Phillip of second degree murder and he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. In a subsequent trial, his brother, Russell, was acquitted.
Phillip was appointed a new attorney to handle his appeal and the lawyer filed a motion for a new trial. The motion claimed that Richard Morrison came forward after Phillip’s trial and said Wilson had told him that he went to the woods with Love and another man named Bobby Evans—not the Pack brothers.
The judge heard Morrison’s testimony, but denied the motion for a new trial because there was no evidence to corroborate Morison’s testimony.
In September 2013, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals reversed Phillip’s conviction and dismissed the case, holding that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Love had died of a methamphetamine overdose or that Phillip had injected Love. Phillip was then released.
– Maurice Possley