Baltimore police are investigating how an image that appears to be a homicide victim's wrapped body was posted to the Facebook page of the man accused in the killing — while he was behind bars.
The image posted to the Facebook page of 28-year-old Jermaine Jackson about 4 p.m. Monday shows a large object on a basement floor wrapped in a sheet and plastic. That's how police said the body of his boyfriend, Andre Nicholas, also 28, had been found by officers after Jackson allegedly confessed to his mother that he had stabbed Nicholas.
Jackson, however, has been held at Central Booking without bond since Sunday. Police said they were aware of the image — which was later removed — and did not believe it had been posted from jail.
Detectives "are certain that the suspect does not have access to his cellular phone in jail," said Detective Jeremy Silbert, a police spokesman, in an email. Silbert could not confirm that the image was Nicholas' body.
Instead, Silbert said, detectives believe an acquaintance of Jackson's had his phone and posted the photo. A corrections official could not comment immediately on the case. The city jail has been cracking down on contraband cellphones and installed phone-jamming technology earlier this year.
Friends of Nicholas, including Mark McLaurin, said they saw the photo and contacted police about having the image removed.
McLaurin said he knew the couple well and that they had been together for more than a year. He said he never saw any warning signs.
"They had their ups and downs, but I really am shocked by this," McLaurin said. "In my estimation, they really did love each other."
McLaurin said Nicholas was well known in the area's black gay community and worked at Club Bunns on Lexington Street. McLaurin, who is the political director for the Service Employees International Union Local 500, said Nicholas also worked on or volunteered with political campaigns.
"He was an incredible presence in the community," McLaurin said. "He had a big heart and did a lot of community work, and I honestly don't know people who were better known than him and so universally well-liked."
Police said Jackson's mother told them that Jackson and Nicholas were together in the basement of her home, in the 2500 block of Garrett Ave. in Northeast Baltimore, when she left on Saturday morning. McLaurin said both men lived with their parents, but they often stayed at Jackson's home.
When she returned in the evening to make dinner, she said, Jackson came upstairs and told her to get together any important papers. He said they had to leave, police wrote in court documents, because there was a dead body in his bed.
Jackson told his mother that he had choked and stabbed Nicholas "because the victim wanted him to do something he didn't want to do," police wrote in court papers.
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Charging documents don't spell out what it was that Nicholas allegedly wanted Jackson to do. According to the court documents, Jackson's mother peered down the basement steps and saw "what she believed to be a body wrapped in plastic on the defendants bed."
Nicholas was pronounced dead at the scene.
Court records show Jackson had been arrested seven times since 2011, on charges of theft, burglary and violating protective orders. All were dropped with the exception of a theft charge that resulted in supervised probation.
Jackson had no attorney listed in court records, and attempts to reach relatives were unsuccessful.
Baltimore Sun reporter Justin George contributed to this article.