A 28-year-old Hampden man likely sitting in a cell in Riker’s Island at this very moment needs a new attorney, according to his now-former attorney.
James Harris Jackson, the accused murderer who told police he traveled up to New York last month with the intention of killing black men, was set to be arraigned in Manhattan yesterday, per DNAinfo New York. However, the judge in his case rescheduled the hearing to tomorrow after learning that would be Jackson’s attorney’s final day representing his client.
“Whether they have the funds or not, I’m not sure, but I can say that Mr. Jackson is 28 years old, he’s his own financial entity, and his parents are not going to pay for this,” his attorney reportedly told the judge.
Jackson then revealed to the judge that he wouldn’t be able to hire a lawyer and had no family or friends to assist with getting him one. The court now plans to assign him a public defender for his arraignment.
Jackson’s family wouldn’t comment publicly, but their decision could very well be tied to the nature of the crime he’s allegedly committed. About two weeks ago, police say Jackson took out a sword he brought with him on a bus to New York and prowled the streets of Midtown before stabbing 66-year-old Timothy Caughman to death on the sidewalk.
Several days later, Jackson turned himself in to police. He said he was planning to kill more black men, who he blamed for dating white women, and that Caughman’s murder was only a “practice run” for other killings.
Jackson now faces charges of murder as an act of terrorism, murder as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon.
The crime shook people everywhere, particularly in Jackson’s home city. The world quickly learned he grew up just outside Baltimore and was living in a Hampden row house before he traveled north to murder black men.
Some other news that became public knowledge: Jackson is an alum of the Friends School in North Baltimore, which sent out a letter to alumni distancing itself from the white supremacist. After graduating from there, Jackson served for three years in the U.S. Army, including multiple tours in Afghanistan.
Evidently, the crime was also enough to shake his family. Barring any pro bono help from a private attorney, Jackson will watch a public defender argue his case before a judge in Manhattan Supreme Court.
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