October 25, 2014

Elyria
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UPDATED: Vincent Jackson Jr. guilty; death penalty possible

Callie Wood, a friend of Qiana Walton, hugs Anne Marie Victor of the Lorain County Prosecutor's Office, after judges ruled Vincent Jackson Jr. was guilty of aggravated murder. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Callie Wood, a friend of Qiana Walton, hugs Anne Marie Victor of the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office, after judges ruled Vincent Jackson Jr. was guilty of aggravated murder. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — A three-judge panel will consider execution as a possible sentence for Vincent Jackson Jr., who gunned down Qiana Walton during a 2008 robbery of the Elyria gas station where she worked.

Lorain County Common Pleas judges James Miraldi, John Miraldi and Mark Betleski found Jackson, 33, guilty of aggravated murder with capital specifications that carry a possible death sentence during a hearing Wednesday. Jackson already had pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in the case, but because it is a capital case the judges had to review evidence to determine whether they should accept the plea.

Jackson also had refused to plead guilty to the specifications, forcing prosecutors to present evidence showing that Walton was killed during an aggravated robbery — one of several other charges Jackson has already pleaded guilty to — and that Jackson pulled the trigger to prevent her from identifying him.

“It has been a long time, six years,” Walton’s father, Robert Walton, said after the hearing. “It’s over, but it’s not over.”

Vincent Jackson Jr., center, listens Wednesday as the verdict is read with his attorneys, Dan Wightman, left, and J. Anthony Rich.

Vincent Jackson Jr., center, listens Wednesday as the verdict is read with his attorneys, Dan Wightman, left, and J. Anthony Rich.

Jackson will be back in court April 1 for a hearing in which his lawyers will try to convince the judges to spare him and impose a life prison term.

“We’ve got a strong case for mitigation and we’re prepared,” defense attorney Dan Wightman said as he left the Lorain County Justice Center, although he and fellow defense attorney J. Anthony Rich declined to discuss specifics.

Janata Walton, Qiana Walton’s mother, said after the hearing that Jackson is only thinking about himself.

“It seems like he’s been wiggling and squirming trying to get out of paying for what he’s done,” she said.

The judges will be able to consider Jackson’s guilty plea in the case as a sign of remorse when they deliberate on whether he deserves death.

And while defense attorneys will do their best to present Jackson in a sympathetic light, prosecutors will try to portray him as a killer who deserves the ultimate punishment.

Jackson had completed an eight-year prison sentence in Illinois about a month before he robbed Gas USA shortly after midnight June 14, 2008. He was incarcerated in Illinois for shooting a man in the head during an argument, although the victim in that case survived.

Jackson’s sister, Aja Jackson, who worked with Walton at Gas USA, testified during a brief trial Tuesday that Jackson had only moved to Elyria about two weeks before the robbery.

Video evidence in the case showed Vincent Jackson in the store in the days leading up to the robbery, including one instance in which Qiana Walton waited on him.

In a graphic video of the killing played multiple times during the trial, Walton re-enters the store she had closed moments before with Jackson, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, behind her.

Jackson demanded that Walton silence the store’s alarm and that she give him money. Prosecutors argued that Walton complied with all of Jackson’s demands, including filling a black plastic bag with about $12,000 in cash.

The video shows Jackson step back, aim the rifle and fire a single shot into Walton’s head, dropping her instantly to the floor. He then called Walton a “bitch” and fled the store but was arrested several hours later following a brief standoff with police at his sister’s nearby home.

Although the courtroom was packed with Walton’s friends and family Wednesday, no one showed up to support Jackson.

Qiana Walton’s father said that once the family left the courthouse, they would head to his daughter’s gravesite to tell her the verdict. Robert Walton said the family still misses Qiana and thinks of her every day.

Janata Walton said she wants closure in the case.

“We just want our daughter to be able to rest in peace,” she said.

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


  • Sis Delish

    Good Job, Judges.

  • stop ur whining part deux

    Put a bullet in his head and call it a day.

    Better yet, draw and quarter and nationally televise it. We start hacking murderers into pieces on national TV i bet you see a dramatic reduction in crime.

    • luvmytoaster

      I like the way you think – is there ANY question that he did the crime? NO! Put him to death immediately…..

  • golfingirl

    But he looks so innocent in the photo.

    • Izzy Dojo

      you crack me up ;) lol

    • JamalJenkum

      I love how lawyers dress up these defendants in clothes that never existing in their wardrobes at any time during their lives. I’m surprised they didn’t put glasses on him too.

      What they should do is back a wood chipper up to the courthouse. When he’s found guilty throw him in feet first. For his family to watch, and make them clean up the mess afterwards.

      Once that’s finished, send the family a bill for the wood chipper rental, and take away their section 8, food stamps and medicaid for the rest of their lives.

  • Joe Smith

    “that prosecutors hadn’t proved the crime rose to the level where Jackson should face possible execution”

    “After Walton gave Jackson a bag containing about $12,000, he raised his AK-47 and shot her once in the head before fleeing.”

    What more do you need?

  • Jamie Smith

    WHY 6 years for Justice for the Walton Family ?? Prayer’s to the Family and hopefully they can now start the healing process. That was such a BRUTAL Murder for that monster to commit. Thank You Judges !!

    • Bob Sweatt

      6 years is nothing. It will take them over 20 years to kill him if he gets the death penalty.

  • jsutton

    I agree with that comment it will take 20 years before they would give him the death penalty. why waste tax payers money this guy has done this before why waste time. Also, I am glad this family did not let this animal get away with this enough is enough.

  • Jamie Smith

    Bob Sweatt you are right about 20 yrs to kill that SOB.if he gets the death penalty. Then we have to feed and clothe him during that time frame. This murder is haunting to us all who feel like after all these years we knew Qiana Walton and the Walton Family. That girl handed him that money without a fight and then he fires the gun. I believe in Karma and hope he becomes the prison blocks Bit**.

  • golfingirl

    From the desk of Judge B:

    You death penalty advocates. Have you no compassion!

    Capital punishment is vengeance, not retribution and, as such, is a morally dubious concept. You who support it are all morally bankrupt.

    This capital crimes was committed in such an emotional state that the perpetrator did not think about the possible consequences. How can he be held responsible for his actions?

    It would be cruel to sentence this young man to death, as his anticipatory suffering while on death row for many years, makes the punishment too severe. His suffering would be much greater than the victim in this case, who died a quick death. Imagine, waiting to die in a prison cell, for years, while all the appeals take place. How cruel and inhumane.

    This young man deserves the right to atone for his actions. Capital punishment doesn’t rehabilitate the prisoner and can’t return him to society, where I am sure he can be a remorseful, productive citizen again.

    There is no sufficient justification for taking his life. There are other ways to punish this offender, insuring he does not re-offend. Why not imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole? He will probably find God in prison, can help other inmates and may even be able to procreate, through conjugal visits. This would allow his genetic material to be passed along to future generations.

    He did plea bargain, admitted his guilt and therefore should receive a reduced sentence in exchange for providing help to the police. Forget the video, which caught him on tape. He was man enough to admit his guilt and save valuable police resources. He deserves a break for his cooperation.

    The death penalty reinforces the belief that bad things happen to those who deserve it. This reinforces the contrary belief; that good things will happen to those who are good.

    Because of this, capital punishment provides a psychological release from conformity and reinforces the hope that there will be a reward in due time for those who are “good.” This provides false hope to the masses. For the sake of the many, we must spare the lives of a few.

    It is all for the benefit of society.

    (Previously posted – sorry for the repetition. I did not mean to repost, but could not remove it)

    • Hedonic Nihilist

      “Capital punishment is vengeance”

      Yup and I support it 100%

      • golfingirl

        I was being sarcastic

    • Justin_Igger

      The only good ni99er, is a dead ni99er. Never in your life forget that.

  • golfingirl

    Looks nice for his sentencing. Put on a tie and all.

    Hope they save it, so he can wear it when they put him in the ground!

    It would be such a waste to only wear it once.

  • Melanie Fields

    I believe we should hold a candlelight vigil on April 1 for Qiana at gas USA.

    • golfingirl

      Good idea. But probably not a good idea to light candles around gasoline.

  • Justin_Igger

    Haha look at that ape ni99er all dressed up in human clothing, as if that ever fooled anyone.

    • Carrie Watson

      What do you have against black people? Is it just this guy that you hate or all black people?

      • WTFnext

        This guy is a total racist. Look at his screen name and avatar (a black man with whip marks. If you click on his screen name you can see other posts. Nearly all are racial slurs against blacks. He is all over the web spewing his hate speech. He needs to be taken out and flogged like his avatar.

    • http://popeyes.com/ Harland_Sanderz

      Advanced turd-polishing, pioneered decades ago by Marchin’ Looter Koon.

      • golfingirl

        On behalf of the 99.9% of white people who do not feel this way, I apologize.

        Pure ignorance.