Jessica Newcomb Murder – In May 2017, a 21-year-old mother and s*x worker, Jessica Newcomb, was fatally shot in a Mobile, Alabama, hotel room after an argument with the shooter. Unfortunately, despite a third person and witness performing CPR and calling 911, she could not be saved and succumbed to her injuries. When the police arrived, they found her lying on the floor with a fatal gunshot wound.
The police arrested a man named Frederick Knight the following day and charged him with Newcomb’s murder. The authorities suspected that it was a s*xual encounter and an attempted robbery that led to the incident. Years later, Knight pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge.
The tragic incident of Jessica Newcomb’s shooting death was featured in an episode of “The First 48” on A&E, titled “Tricked; Rogue Gun.” The show highlights the initial two days of an investigation in the hope of solving the crime.
How did Jessica Newcomb Die?
Jessica Newcomb, a 21-year-old mother originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, had a young son when she was fatally shot on May 24, 2017. According to her mother, Newcomb was heavily involved in drugs and allegedly forced into prostitution. At the time, she was staying with a friend at the Budget Inn Hotel located at 156 West Interstate 65 Service Road in Mobile, Alabama, when the tragic incident occurred.
Upon arrival, authorities found Newcomb lying on the floor between the two beds in room number 305 with a gunshot wound to the chest. Heather Wallace, the only witness to the crime, was in the room at the time and told the police that she was asleep in one of the beds when the shooting occurred. Wallace further stated that she only opened her eyes to find a black man standing over her and that she did not know the shooter then.
The Mobile Police Department detective Jermaine Rogers reported that the victim died from her grave injuries. Wallace called 911 while performing CPR on Newcomb, but unfortunately, it was useless. Reports state that the shooter was demanding money from Newcomb before shooting her, indicating that the incident was a possible attempted robbery. The case was later covered in an episode of “The First 48” on A&E, highlighting the initial two days of the investigation.
Who Killed Jessica Newcomb?
During the investigation of Jessica Newcomb’s tragic shooting, surveillance footage revealed the alleged shooter’s identity. He was wearing a red shirt and black pants, with gold-trimmed glasses, and arrived at the hotel in a maroon Toyota Corolla at 9:35 am. A distinct emblem on the red shirt, coupled with the clothing description, led investigators to Hungry Howie’s Pizza, where they identified the shooter as 27-year-old Frederick Knight.
According to reports, Frederick Knight Jr. and Newcomb had connected on Backpage.com, where he had requested oral s*x, and she agreed to it for $60. Knight claimed that he had given her $40 and Xanax pills worth $10, but after the act, he demanded the money and pills back. As per Knight’s account, when Newcomb refused to comply, he shot her.
The investigators later searched Knight’s vehicle, which was captured on surveillance footage, and arrested him from his home the following day. Authorities believed that the tragic incident was “an act of prostitution that went wrong.”
Where is Frederick Knight Jr. Today?
Frederick Knight Jr., who was accused of shooting Jessica Newcomb at the Budget Inn Motel in Mobile, claimed that an exchange of s*x, money, and drugs led to the tragic incident. According to his account, he had demanded the money and drugs back from Newcomb after an agreement on Backpage.com for oral s*x for $60. When she refused, he shot her.
At the preliminary hearing in June 2017, Mobile District Court Judge Joe Basenburg declared that there was enough probable cause to send the case to a grand jury after the prosecution presented evidence. Mobile Police Department detective Jermaine Rogers provided information on the incident, stating that when the police arrived, they found Newcomb lying on her back between the two beds in the hotel room with a gunshot wound to the chest. Another woman, Heather Wallace, was present in the room and identified the shooter as a black man who demanded money from her before threatening to shoot Newcomb.
During the investigation, video surveillance was allegedly used to identify Knight Jr. as the shooter, using his clothing and car, which was captured on the same video. He was initially charged with first-degree murder and robbery. Still, when the jury could not reach a verdict in November 2021, the prosecution offered a deal for a lesser included charge of manslaughter, which Knight Jr. accepted. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and is currently serving his time at Kilby Correctional Facility in Mt. Meigs, Alabama.
The tragic incident was featured on A&E’s “The First 48,” which provides a glimpse into the first two days of an investigation. The episode will delve further into the case on Friday.