ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – A 33-year-old Escanaba man charged with the murder of a pregnant woman appeared in court on Monday.
Tavaris Lee Jackson entered the courtroom with his defense team for the first day of his preliminary hearing just after 8:00 a.m.
Jackson is being charged with homicide-open murder in the death of 22-year-old Harley Corwin, whose body was found in the woods in Ford River Township on July 8.
According to Haaris Iqbal, the pathologist who conducted her post-mortem examination, Corwin had two gunshot wounds to the head. Iqbal says Corwin appeared to be early in the third trimester of her pregnancy. He performed an autopsy on the baby she was carrying and found no signs of trauma.
“From the autopsy, the fetus was normally developed, and the cause of death would have most likely been related to the death of the mother,” Iqbal said during the hearing via Zoom.
Witnesses testified about their last communications with Corwin. Security camera footage from The Store gas station was shown of Corwin with Jackson on July 3.
Another video was shown of Jackson’s interview with a Michigan State Police (MSP) Gladstone Post detective.
Jackson says on July 3, Corwin arrived at his house with her boyfriend in her car. Jackson says he and Corwin drove toward Cedar River in Menominee County in his vehicle before turning around and driving back to his home, where Corwin’s boyfriend was waiting in her car.
Corwin had Life360, a location-tracking app, installed on her phone. The MSP detective says Life360 shows Crowin’s phone stopping in Fuller Park for “a couple of hours” before Jackson went home. The phone remained in his car until the battery died, including on trips to grocery stores.
“Any idea why her phone was in your car?” the detective asks Jackson in the video.
“It wasn’t in my car,” Jackson answers.
“We have 360 maps of you going to the store, going to Menard’s,” says the detective. “The only way that would happen is if her phone was in your car.”
“I didn’t know it was in there,” Jackson says after more explanation by the detective of the Life360 map of Corwin’s phone’s location.
Jackson also told the MSP detective he did not remember stopping in Fuller Park. However, he said he has a bad memory due to a 2015 car accident.
“Do you know why you didn’t mention being in that park earlier?” the detective asks in the interview footage.
“I honestly don’t remember being there,” Jackson says. “Like, I didn’t remember stopping at Menard’s until he said that.”
“Oh, so by us talking about it, it kind of jogs your memory?” asks the detective.
“Yes,” answers Jackson.
“Is that because of the car accident?” the detective asks.
“Yes,” replies Jackson.
Jackson is scheduled to appear in court again on Tuesday, August 22 at 8:00 a.m. The prosecution plans to call three more witnesses.