July 22, 2014

Elyria
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Gas USA suspect could get death penalty

ELYRIA — Vincent Jackson Jr. could face the death penalty if he’s convicted of gunning down a gas station clerk with an AK-47 during a robbery earlier this year.

Jackson, 27, has been indicted on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, murder and having weapons under disability.

Police say Jackson confronted Qiana Walton on June 14 as she finished closing the gas station for the evening. Walton took Jackson into the store, which also cashed checks, and gave him $12,000 before he allegedly shot her once in the head with the assault rifle.

The gunshot caused devastating injuries to Walton’s brain, killing her instantly, according to the results of an autopsy.

After the shooting, which was captured on a videotape, Jackson fled the station and was arrested a few hours later by Elyria police following a brief standoff with officers at the West Avenue home of his sister, where he had been staying for several weeks.

Will said police recovered the AK-47, but are still looking for the money Jackson stole.

“We’re still trying to sort out a lot of things,” he said.

Jackson’s attorney, Anthony Rich, said he was aware of the charges, but that he only knows the basics because prosecutors have not yet provided detailed evidence to him.

“We’ll see what develops,” he said.

Will said Jackson hasn’t confessed to the crime.

“He’s had some conversations with the police department, but did not admit any involvement,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Jackson has run afoul of the law. Shortly before Walton was killed, he was released from an Illinois prison after serving eight years for shooting a man in the head during an argument. The victim in that case survived.

But prosecutors are using that earlier case to bolster their chances of convincing a jury and judge to sentence Jackson to death. Many of the charges against Jackson carry a repeat violent offender specification.

Jackson remains in the Lorain County Jail, where he is being held without bond.

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