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Friday, 6 February 2009

Demichael Rashad Jackson, 18,Westside Crip was found guilty of engaging in organized criminal activity committing aggravated robbery as a gang member

14:18 |

Demichael Rashad Jackson, 18, was found guilty of engaging in organized criminal activity — committing aggravated robbery as a gang member — by a jury in 241st District Judge Jack Skeen Jr.’s court after nearly two hours of deliberation.Tyler gang leader who was out of jail on bond for one charge and on probation for another at the time he robbed five people at gunpoint during a home invasion was sentenced Thursday to 60 years in prison. After learning of his criminal history, which began in 2003, the jury sentenced him to 60 years and a $10,000 fine after more than an hour of deliberation. Jackson, who faced life in prison, will be eligible for parole after 30 years.Jackson, who prosecutors call the "self-proclaimed leader" of the Westside Crips Rolling Sixties gang, busted down the door at 1206 S. Buckley Ave. with two other gang members and pointed a gun at five people, threatening to kill them as he stole their belongings on May 29. As he left the house, Jackson fired his gun at a man standing across the street. He and other gang members pawned and sold some of the items and were found with the rest by police.

The robbery occurred at about 2 a.m. on May 29. At 10 a.m. that same day, Jackson appeared at the Smith County Courthouse and pleaded guilty to assaulting a man. He was allowed to remain out of jail on bond, as he had been, and was told to report to jail in June. At 7 p.m. May 29, Jackson is shown in video surveillance at the Game X Change, wearing one of the robbery victim’s backpacks and pawning stolen video games with other gang members.

In 2007, Jackson pleaded guilty as a juvenile to engaging in organized criminal activity — burglarizing a building as a gang member — and was placed on probation until his 18th birthday on June 3, 2008. In 2003, Jackson was convicted of possessing marijuana at school.Jackson’s older sister, Jacqueline Orange, said she and Jackson have four other siblings and that their mother died in 2001. She said she works at First Baptist Church and that Jackson has worked there too. She said he had been in trouble as a juvenile but that she tried to help him through it and he did well on probation. She said he played football in high school, went to church and is a role model to his nieces and nephews. She said he always wanted to help people and that his continually bringing people home is “what got him into this mess.” She said he is mature and knows right from wrong and that he’s not a violent person.Ms. Orange said her brother has never been in a gang and that he sometimes lived with her or their other sister at 826 S. Peach St., a house that was built by Habitat for Humanity. She said gang members don’t hang out at that house but that there has been one drive-by shooting there.She said she was familiar with the Rolling Sixties gang but later in her testimony said such a gang did not exist. She said Jackson signed earlier court records, admitting he was a gang member but that he really was not. She said she knew he was smoking dope but that he quit and was released from probation early because he did so well.She said he didn’t commit his earlier crimes and that she doesn’t trust police, who she said have put her brothers and dad in jail. She said numerous police officers have harmed her family but that she didn’t know their names.

Prosecutors played a recording of a phone call from jail in which Jackson was talking to both Ms. Orange and the sister he lived with on Peach Street. During the conversation, the women told him about their “cousin” who broke into a woman’s apartment at Southwest Pines Sunday and was shot in the face by the victim.
The juvenile has been detained with five others, and he is an admitted member of the Rolling Sixties, other witnesses said.On the tape, Jackson can be heard laughing and bragging about the boy. He also asked his sisters to bring him a red shirt for court to “blow” the juror’s “minds” because Crips wear blue and rival Bloods wear red.Ms. Orange said they both showed concern about the woman and said that the boy who was shot after breaking into her home was not their cousin; she didn’t know why her sister said that.“He (Jackson) is just a sweet, loving person, I mean boy,” she said.
Assistant District Attorney Joe Murphy said the Habitat for Humanity house where Jackson lived is now a gang den and riddled with bullet holes from rival gangs.

He asked the jury to judge the credibility of the defendant’s sister.“He is a gang member,” he said. “He is violent.”Murphy said the five young adults who were robbed at gunpoint by Jackson will remember it for the rest of their lives. “He (Jackson) is a gangster. He’s an outlaw and you can’t change an outlaw,” he said. “There’s a whole bunch of kids who look up to him, and that should scare you to death.”
He asked the jurors to think about Jackson’s criminal history and his escalation of violence. Murphy said he deserves a life sentence.Defense attorney James Mills said Murphy wanted the jurors to deliberate with fear and anger and sentence an 18-year-old kid to life in the penitentiary. He said he was not excusing or justifying what Jackson did and the sentence was about justice for him and the victims.He said the jury could give Jackson another chance or send him to prison and throw away the key. He asked the jurors to sentence Jackson to probation so he could be rehabilitated. He said Jackson was an 18-year-old with a family and who should be in high school right now but, because of his choices, he sits in court. “His life is completely in your hands.”Murphy said at 2 a.m. on May 29, the five victims’ lives were in Jackson’s hands.Nicholas Graham, 21, Jacob Jones, Monica Daniel, 20, Christine "Tina" Fry, 21, and Andrew Stanley, 19, testified about the robbery. All but Ms. Fry identified Jackson as the gunmen in the robbery. Christopher Bunze, 19, said he was outside during the robbery but Jackson shot at him before he left. Mitchell, Ladarius Scott, Jerrell Amie, Jerry Amie and Jamiya Lacey all have been charged in the case.

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