Court of Appeals rejects Nixon appeal of murder conviction


By Ray King

An Arkansas prison inmate currently serving a 40-yer sentence for murder and other offenses has failed to convince the Arkansas Court of Appeals that prosecutors failed to prove their case.

Specifically, Derrick Nixon, 36, contended that there was not enough evidence to disprove his claim that he was justified in using deadly physical force.

Following a jury trial in Desha County, Nixon was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Jason Jenkins, the shooting injury to Robert Washington and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Testimony at trial indicated that Nixon was dating Kensie Bryant, who was in a previous relationship with Washington. On Jan. 13, 2022 Washington and Jenkins went to Bryant’s house where Washington and Bryant got into an argument. Nixon came out of the house after retrieving Bryant’s 22-caliber pistol out of her purse. Washington testified that he heard shots and saw Nixon shooting at Jenkins, who was running away. Nixon then pointed the gun at Washington and shot him.

At trial, Nixon testified that he thought Jenkins had a gun, although none was found and that Jenkins was wearing a ski mask but no ski mask was found.

Following the state’s case, Nixon moved for a directed verdict of not guilty which was denied. The Appeals Court ruled Nixon’s attorney failed to present evidence identifying any specific element of justification for the shooting.

Nixon is serving his sentence at the East Arkansas Correctional Unit and will be eligible to apply for parole in 2062.