Man convicted of felony murder in death of 37-week-old unborn baby

Also convicted of first-degree domestic beating in brutal attack on ex-girlfriend

By Dave Andrusko

Christopher Ammons Kemp

Christopher Ammons Kemp, originally charged with capital murder for the savage beating of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and the death of her 37-week-old unborn baby, has been convicted of felony murder, a lesser charge, and first-degree domestic violence.

Ivana Hrynkiw, of Al.com, reports that Jefferson County Circuit Judge Laura Petro will sentence the 31-year-old Kemp on September 27.

Kemp’s attorneys argued that Kemp never intended to kill the baby. Kemp testified that “he blacked out for part of the assault” against Jessica Jackson, according to Hrynkiw.

He said he remembers coming back into consciousness on top of Jackson, strangling her with his left hand and punching her with his right. That’s when he “realized what [he] was doing.”

“I don’t know,” Kemp said. “I just panicked. I had a drug-induced psychotic episode.”

Prosecutors painted a far different portrait of a man who had been stalking his former girlfriend for several weeks and whose attack was so brutal doctors initially told Jackson’s family to “prepare for the worst.”

Prosecutors said “Kemp had been stalking Jackson for weeks, and coming by her house in Bluff Park [in Hoover, Alabama]. They said the day of the attack, Kemp was hiding in Jackson’s garage waiting for her to come home.”

Evidence at trial showed Jessica Jackson was severely beaten in the garage of her Hoover home on March 16, 2016. Her ex-husband found her over an hour after the beating, and called police. She was transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital and then UAB [University of Alabama] Hospital, where her unborn baby girl was pronounced dead. Jackson was hospitalized, and doctors initially told her family to prepare for the worst.

After the attack, testimony at trial revealed, a mutual friend contacted Kemp and told him about the condition of Jackson and his unborn child. He replied via Facebook messenger, “I didn’t want to hurt her, just the baby.”

Defense Attorney John Robbins told jurors that Kemp “snapped” and then attacked Jackson.

Not so, Deputy District Attorney Joe Roberts told jurors. “The evidence of intent is strong and undeniable.”