Hampton man sentenced to 45 years for murder
BEAUFORT – A 34-year-old Hampton man was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Friday August 2, 2013 for the 2011 murder of 34-year-old Masako Yamaguchi Miller, also of Hampton.
At the conclusion of a four-day trial, jurors deliberated for about an hour-and-a-half before convicting Kelvin Jackson of murdering the estranged mother of his children.
“I’m very pleased with the verdict and hope it brings some measure of closure to the family,” said deputy solicitor Sean Thornton, who prosecuted the case. “Mr. Jackson is a very dangerous person who deserves every day of the sentence the judge gave him.”
In the early morning hours of May 26, 2011, Jackson strangled Miller in her home and disposed of her body in Beaufort County waters. Her body was found by a fisherman on May 30, 2011 on a mud flat where Archers Creek meets the Broad River, not far from Parris Island.
DNA evidence collected from Miller’s home connected Jackson to the murder. A pillow believed to have been used to smother Miller also contained Jackson’s DNA around the edges, where he would have been holding it.
In the days leading up to her death, Miller appeared to be distancing herself from Jackson, with whom she had two children and a volatile, abusive relationship. She had removed Jackson from her car insurance policy and closed a joint account the two had held, converting the balance over to a single account with only Miller’s name on it.
After Miller’s death, Jackson used one of her credit cards. He provided statements to investigators that were untruthful. A note left for Miller’s children stating she was on a trip and would be back soon was determined by a handwriting specialist to not have been written by Miller and was a probable match to Jackson’s handwriting.
The successful conviction was the result of collaborative investigation between the Hampton Police Department, S.C. Law Enforcement Division, the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Judge Maite Murphy handed down the sentence. By law, Jackson must serve all 45 years before being released. He is not eligible for parole or any other early release mechanism.