Crime

He told his wife he’d ‘blow her brains out’ days before she was shot in the head, officer says

Gulfport police and crime scene technicians review evidence found at the scene of a woman's shooting Monday outside of Memorial Physicians Clinic on U.S. 49 in Gulfport.
Gulfport police and crime scene technicians review evidence found at the scene of a woman's shooting Monday outside of Memorial Physicians Clinic on U.S. 49 in Gulfport. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

Days before a woman was shot in the back of her head, a police body camera recorded her saying her husband had threatened to kill her, according to court testimony.

Sierra Jefferson had called Gulfport police July 29 to watch as she and her children gathered their belongings and left her husband, Harrison County prosecuting attorney Herman Cox said Wednesday. She had reported a domestic issue and wanted an officer to come to a home on 27th Street so they could leave without a confrontation, Cox said.

Police body cameras recorded the woman saying her husband, Jerome Jefferson Sr., had told her, “If I had a gun, I would blow your brains out,” Cox said, referring to the testimony of Detective Clayton Fulks.

After she was shot Aug. 7, the husband reportedly told police he had gone to see her because he didn’t want their relationships to end.

Fulks testified in a preliminary hearing Wednesday at the Harrison County jail before Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain. Jefferson is held on a first-degree murder charge on a $1 million bond.

A bullet lodged in Sierra Jefferson’s head when one of two shots were fired behind Memorial Physicians Clinic in Acadian Plaza on U.S. 49. Sierra Jefferson was a medical assistant there. Her husband later told police he had gone to his wife’s workplace because he didn’t want her to end their relationship, a police affidavit says.

Fulks reached the shooting scene and climbed in an ambulance to talk to Jefferson before she was taken to Garden Park Medical Center, and then airlifted to Mobile, where she died.

A bullet had hit the right back side of her head underneath the ear, Cox said.

Sierra Jefferson made a dying declaration by telling Fulks, “My husband shot me,” Cox said.

Jerome Jefferson fled the scene and soon turned himself in at the county jail.

Cox said a check of his cellphone shows he texted their eldest son, Jerome “Rome” Jefferson Jr., and said, “Look out for your brother and sister.” The text was sent before Jefferson Sr. turned himself in.

Rome Jefferson is 25. His siblings are 8 and 4.

Jerome Jefferson had a .38-caliber gun with two live rounds in it when police seized it from his car, Cox said. Two spent rounds have been taken into evidence along with Jefferson’s clothes. Police also are checking DNA and gunshot residue, Cox said.

After Fulks testified, Fountain denied a request to reduce Jefferson’s bond. Fountain also ordered the case turned over to the next grand jury.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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