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Jurors Saw Bodycam Footage in Which Murder Defendant Claimed Intruder Attacked Him

First responders treat murder defendant Alexander Jackson on June 15, 2021. (Screenshot via Law&Crime Network)

First responders treat murder defendant Alexander Jackson on June 15, 2021. (Screenshot via Law&Crime Network)

To hear prosecutors tell it, body camera footage shows a murderer’s failed attempt to trick cops into thinking an intruder killed his entire family.

“He came down,” defendant Alexander Jackson, 22, said. “There was a man.”

Iowa cops had found Jackson there in his family’s Linn County home on June 15, 2021. He was on the floor, gunshot wound to his foot. Someone had shot his father Jan Perry Jackson, 61, five times. Cops, in the middle of evaluating the shocking scene, asked Alexander if anyone else was home. He said yes, his sister Sabrina Hana Jackson, 19, was in her room. They asked if she was okay.

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“I think so,” he answered.

But she too was found shot dead. Officers also found mother Melissa Ferne Jackson, 68, shot and killed in the home. That left Alexander the sole survivor.

As seen on body camera footage, defendant Jackson claimed he was sleeping on the family’s porch when he heard gunshots and saw the intruder. This man allegedly shot Jackson in the foot. In the ambulance, Jackson told police he “ran” into the intruder and “charged” him.

The only description cops received was of a Black man in black clothes, prosecutor Jordan Scheier said in opening statements on Friday.

Jackson’s story is an alleged fabrication. It was he who shot his family one by one using a Browning .22-caliber rifle, authorities said. Surveillance footage from both a neighbor’s home and the Jackson residence showed no one entering or leaving the murder scene, Scheier said.

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The prosecutor maintained that Alexander Jackson was misleading in his 15-minute 911 call, such that police did not know what kind of scene they were going to that day.

Defense lawyer Lindsay Garner said in opening statements that police rushed to judgment. Officers decided Jackson was the shooter within the first 35 minutes of the seven-hour police interview, she said. She said investigators did not test for DNA on the shell casings. There were two prints on the gun, she said. One belonged to Alexander Jackson. Another belonged to an unidentified person, she said.

Jackson, she maintained, was the fourth victim and she asked jurors not to make this tragedy worse by convicting him.

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