PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A Portland man is heading to trial in 2020 accused of murdering four women in the 1980's.
But the Oregon Supreme Court has just ruled his confessions be tossed out over police tactics.
Homer Jackson has been charged with 12 counts of aggravated murder tied to the deaths of four women.
For years their murders went cold.
But in 2015 Portland police tied Jackson to the investigation saying his DNA was found on or near several of the victims.
They interrogated him over the course of two days in October 2015, but court records show Jackson is schizophrenic and has significant memory problems.
He repeatedly denied knowing anything about the murders, but a trial court said the interrogation became "intense" and "hostile" and detectives repeatedly told him there would be legal ramifications if he didn't confess. And that doing so would be best for everyone.
In the end Jackson confessed to one killing but continued to say he couldn't remember what he did yesterday, let alone 30 years ago.
A lower court ruled that his confession be tossed out because under the circumstances it wasn't given voluntarily, without the influence of hope or fear.
We spoke with the detectives who questioned Jackson in 2015 when he was charged with the killings.
“Once we got that forensic link, we started to realize we were actually dealing with somebody that was probably committing several crimes that were very similar,” PPB Detective Jim Lawrence said. “Then we found clusters of crimes.”
“We’re happy. We’re most happy for the victim''s families, definitely. Just to be able to give them that closure and be able to give them answers after 30 plus years of questions. It’s a good day,” PPB Detective Meredith Hopper said.
This ruling does not mean this case is over.
Jackson is still heading to trial on 12 counts of aggravated murder but what he told detectives in that room back in 2015 will not be part of the case.
What this could mean for future police questioning here in Oregon remains to be seen.
Portland police told us "the Portland city attorney's office would have to review the ruling to determine if there is any impact to bureau operations or investigations moving forward."
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