CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A jury on Wednesday convicted an Iowa college student of three counts of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of his parents and younger sister in her home.
Alexander Jackson, 22, found guilty in the death of Jan Jackson, 61; Melissa Jackson, 68; and Sabrina Jackson, 19. Officers found her dead from multiple gunshots on June 15, 2021 after Alexander Jackson called 911 and claimed there was an intruder at their home in Cedar Rapids, who shot him and his father.
Alexander Jackson sustained a gunshot wound to his foot, which prosecutors say was self-inflicted. Police charged Jackson with the murders after he was treated at a hospital for his foot injury.
Prosecutors said Jackson shot his family after his father told him to get a job or move out of the house. At the time, Alexander Jackson had $30 in his bank account.
In Iowa, a first-degree murder conviction carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He will be officially sentenced on March 3rd.
During Tuesday’s closing arguments, Linn County First Assistant Prosecutor Monica Slaughter told jurors Jackson could not give police a description of the man he said shot dead while they were fighting over a gun, The Cedar reported Rapid’s Gazette.
She said Jackson shot his father as he was coming down the stairs, then stood over him and shot him two more times in the head. His sister was found shot dead in her bed and his mother was found dead on the master bedroom floor, Slaughter said.
He then went into a bedroom and shot himself in the foot, she said.
“Is money the motive?” asked Schlachter. “Would he inherit all the money and wealth from his parents? I don’t know, but I don’t have to prove a motive. There will never be a good enough reason why he killed his family.”
Defense attorney Tyler Johnston said the prosecution’s case was purely circumstantial and no evidence was presented to disprove Alexander Jackson’s version of events.
Johnston said the Jacksons were a happy family and witnesses said they were not aware of any problems between Alexander and his family. Alexander Jackson had no history of mental illness or violence, he said.
“Reasonable doubt is everywhere in this case,” Johnston said. “He had no reason to harm his family.”
The killings in a quiet suburb of Cedar Rapids were the first triple homicide in the city since 1982 and only the second since at least 1959, according to a police department spokesman.
Alexander Jackson and Sabrina Jackson were students at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, about 35 miles south of their home.