Did Accused Killer Learn From The Infamous Perry March Murder Case?

Posted at 5:26 PM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-25 19:48:17-04

Did an accused killer learn from one of Nashville's most notorious murderers?

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said Caleb Cannon killed the mother of his child, and they added there were some eerie similarities to the infamous Perry March case.

March was convicted by a jury in 2006 of murdering his wife, Janet, even though police never found her body.

"I'm innocent, and I'm hopeful that the system will work the way it is supposed to," said March in an exclusive jailhouse interview from two years ago.

But he would tell you the system failed him. Prosecutors said justice was done.

"Yes, I'm maintaining my innocence. I've maintained it every single day since 1996," said March in 2014.

Even though his wife Janet's body was never found, prosecutors built a strong circumstantial case bolstered by March's own missteps plotting to kill his wife's parents, talking to detectives, and confiding in fellow inmates.

It all added up to a guilty verdict and a 56-year sentence.

Now consider the current case against Caleb Cannon.

"It's not a slam dunk for the prosecution at all," said NewsChannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo.

Cannon has been accused of murdering Nikki Burgess, the mother of his child, two years ago, but police never found her body.

So the circumstantial case has consisted of cadaver dogs alerting to Cannon's bathroom and car.

Had Burgess' body been there?

"I think it's a huge issue," said Leonardo.

The state might also mention that books about the Perry March case were found in Cannon's home.

Did he learn what to do or not to do from these books?

If so, Leonardo said Cannon will keep quiet.

"A lot will depend on whether Cannon will talk in jail and help the prosecution or if he's quiet and just let's the evidence come out," said Leonardo.

Cannon said he's innocent, and those close to the case said he won't make the same foolish mistakes March did which helped lead to his conviction.

A former cell mate of Cannon's has also been named a witness for the prosecution.

But unlike the jailhouse informant in the March case, this inmate did not wear a wire, so there has been no audio evidence.

Cannon has remained behind bars on a $750,000 bond.