The father of a man whose 2009 murder charges were dismissed Tuesday said he always had faith in God that his son would prevail.
Edward Jackson Jr. said after the hearing that the resolution of his son’s case was still a “bittersweet moment.”
“There’s a life that’s gone, that’s been taken,” Jackson said. “That’s the bigger issue ... my condolences have always been with [the victim’s] family.”
Jackson’s son, 21-year-old Edward Jackson III, faced trial on a second-degree murder charge in the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting death of Antonio Green, 28, at a park near Amnicola Highway.
The younger Jackson pleaded guilty to unrelated drug charges, filed in May. Jackson has been in custody on those charges since his arrest and must serve two more months before being released.
Witnesses said that, on the night he was killed, Green approached a vehicle Jackson was sitting in, punched him, dragged him out of the car and started kicking him.
Jackson told police he saw a gun nearby on the ground, grabbed it and shot in self-defense.
Prosecutor Lance Pope told Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman that Jackson could argue self-defense and that Pope could not present evidence to overcome that argument.
Jackson’s attorney, Bryan Hoss, praised Pope for seeing the case clearly. Pope was the third prosecutor to handle the case since the grand jury issued the indictment and sent it to Criminal Court, Hoss said.
Hoss said Jackson originally was charged with first-degree murder but that was dropped to second-degree, which essentially started the legal process over. The fact that three prosecutors were assigned to the case at various times and problems getting witnesses to talk about what happened contributed to the three-year period before the dismissal, he said.
“Sometimes it takes time to get to the truth,” Hoss said. “While it’s frustrating while you’re going through it, the result speaks for itself.”
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...