August 30, 2014

Elyria
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Suspect took $12,000, then killed woman with AK-47, prosecutors say

ELYRIA — Vincent Jackson Jr. robbed Gas USA of $12,000 before shooting clerk Qiana Walton with an AK-47 assault rifle, Elyria police Detective Larry Barbee said Tuesday.

The robbery and murder were caught on store security cameras, and police saw and heard Walton’s last moments, including Jackson pulling the trigger, Barbee testified during a preliminary hearing before Elyria Municipal Court Judge Lisa Locke Graves.

Elyria City Prosecutor Jay Grunda said Walton cooperated with Jackson during the June 14 robbery.

“She did everything she was supposed to in a robbery, and it did not help,” he said after the hearing.

Grunda said he has not seen the tape of the killing but that it’s been described to him as “graphic.”

At the end of the hearing, the judge bound over to a county grand jury the aggravated murder and aggravated robbery charges.

The grand jury will decide whether Jackson, 27, should be indicted.

Graves also refused to set bond for Jackson, saying that the charges against him make it clear he is a danger to the community. Jackson’s attorney, Anthony Rich, had asked for a $5 million bond.

Rich Rennie, president of Plain City-based Weapons Experts Inc., said an AK-47 is a serious weapon capable of inflicting great damage to the human body. Rennie, who was not at the hearing and did not know the details of the case, said AK-47s are popular because the gun is accurate and easy to use and maintain.

It’s also not a small rifle, and it would be virtually impossible to conceal, even underneath a coat, Rennie said.

“If someone brandished an AK-47, it would be obvious they meant business,” he said.

Lorain County Coroner Paul Matus said Walton died from a single gunshot that caused devastating injuries to her head and brain, killing her instantly.

Jackson had been staying on West Avenue with his sister, Aja, for several weeks before the shooting and had recently been released from an Illinois prison, where he served eight years for shooting a man in the head after an argument. The victim in that case survived, according to Chicago authorities.

Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday on whether his office plans to seek the death penalty against Jackson.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.