Blackmon sentenced in weapon trial - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Blackmon sentenced in weapon trial

December 17, 2004

Sylvester-The legal saga for twelve year old Jade Blackmon is finally over.

"I know I was innocent," she says. "I didn't even have a knife and it's just ridiculous."

But Friday the seventh grader reluctantly told a Worth County juvenile judge that she did have a knife because she feared the consequences of a possible guilty verdict.

"I didn't want to face the bad boot camp," Blackmon says.

"I wanted to fight because I know we had good witnesses and a good case, but I wasn't going to risk Jade being sent to boot camp especially since she's innocent," adds her mother Penny Blackmon.

Jade and her mother also say the prosecutors showed up to court Friday with additional witnesses claiming Jade was guilty.

"All of a sudden today after all this time she claims that Jade showed her the knife previous. We still maintain that that's not what happened," says Penny Blackmon. "So this is just a lot easier way to make sure Jade isn't punished any more than she already has."

Blackmon feels her classmates are picking on her, but she says she'll do all she can to make sure no one else is able to accuse her of having a weapon in her purse.

"I might not carry a purse after this, but hopefully everything will get better," she says.

The Blackmons says they want to thank everyone who supported Jade and hope they continue to believe in a girl who took the blame for something she says she didn't do.

Jade Blackmon was sentenced to 12 months of probation and 20 hours of community service. Her mother says they'll appeal the school tribunal decision to force Blackmon to go to alternative school and serve a 12-week suspension.

Posted at 5:10 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com