July 28, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
69°F
test

Former Playmate pleads for right to drive


OBERLIN – Former Playboy Playmate Jennifer Lyn Jackson begged a judge for the chance to drive to medical appointments before pleading no contest Tuesday to drunken driving charges.

BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE
Jennifer Jackson enters Oberlin Municipal Court on Tuesday.

“I`m under disability and my husband is also under disability,” Jackson told Oberlin Municipal Court Judge Thomas Januzzi. “We have between three and five medical appointments a week.”

Januzzi told Jackson, 38, of Westlake, that he would make such a decision after an alcohol assessment.

He fined her $500 and warned her she might have to serve part or all of a 180-day suspended sentence if she is convicted of any theft, alcohol or drug offenses in the next three years.

“We`re going to put 180 days up on the shelf, and we`re not going to take them off the shelf unless you make us,” Januzzi said.

She also will have to attend a three-day driver intervention program, her license will be suspended for 180 days and she will have to comply with the rules of any limited driving privileges that may be granted to her.

In exchange for her plea, prosecutors dropped charges of theft, open container, and marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession that had been filed against Jackson, who was arrested about 7 p.m. June 30 near the Murphy USA gas station on U.S. Route 20.

Jackson`s attorney, Jalal Sleibi, told Januzzi that his client – Miss April 1989 – “takes the charge very seriously.”

Sleibi told Januzzi that Jackson graduated from North Olmsted High School and Kent State University with a double major, but she suffered a brain aneurism in 2002 that left her paralyzed on her left side.

“She`s had some hard times,” Sleibi said. “It`s taken her a long time to learn how to walk again.”

A police report on the incident stated that Jackson was charged with stealing cigarettes, cigars and a cigarette rolling machine. Jackson admitted taking the items, according to the report.

The report also stated that James Thompson, 52, who was in the car with Jackson, pumped $21 worth of gas that wasn`t paid for.

After court, Sleibi said his client never took anything without paying, saying Thompson told police that he threw two $20 bills on the counter.

Sleibi said Thompson was driving before they left the gas station and his client later made “a mistake” when she got behind the wheel.

“She shouldn`t have been driving,” Sleibi said.

After Jackson was sentenced, Oberlin police Capt. Clif Barnes said police got the charges right.

“We stand by our police report,” he said, adding that he was pleased that the judge required her to seek treatment.

In addition to the three-day driver intervention program, Jackson will be required to complete the Counter Attack treatment program at Lorain County Community College.

“If she`s going to get some help, that`s always good,” Barnes said.

The police report stated Jackson`s blood-alcohol level tested at 0.77 – just under the legal limit of 0.8 – but Sleibi said the arresting officer, Patrolman John Sanderson Jr., “was adamant it was over when she was driving.”

Four days after her arrest in Oberlin, Jackson and Thompson were charged with disorderly conduct by intoxication in Westlake after allegedly taunting a neighbor in their Center Ridge Road trailer park. At that time, Thompson told police that he and Jackson lived in separate trailers, and they had wed only recently.

In 2005, Westlake police charged Jackson with receiving stolen property, but the charge was dismissed when the accuser failed to show up in court.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.