Woman accused of killing 4 daughters asks District of Columbia judge to decide case, not jury

Woman seeks bench trial in deaths of 4 daughters

WASHINGTON — A Washington, D.C., woman accused of killing her four daughters has asked a judge to decide her case.

Attorneys for Banita Jacks told a Superior Court judge Friday that she wants to waive her right to a jury trial that had been scheduled for July.

Authorities say the decomposing bodies of Jacks’ daughters were found in her southeast Washington rowhouse in January 2008. They ranged in age from 5 to 17.

Jacks pleaded not guilty in September to charges of premeditated first-degree murder.

Court officials say defendants in felony cases rarely waive a jury trial. Some legal experts say a bench trial could work to her advantage because of the case’s emotional content.


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