A 22-year-old Iowa man was found guilty of killing his parents and sister in their home in 2021 and then staging the crime scene as a home invasion.
Alex Jackson was convicted Wednesday of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his 61-year-old father Jan, 68-year-old mother Melissa Jackson and 19-year-old sister Sabrina Jackson. The jury deliberated for six hours, KGAN reported.
Alex Claimed His Family was Shot by a Black Man Who Broke into Their Home
Jackson, a business student at the University of Iowa, made a 911 call on the morning of June 15, 2001, claiming an intruder broke into their Cedar Rapids home and shot him and another family member. He described the shooter as a tall black man, wearing all black, a ski mask, gloves and green shoes.
Jackson told investigators that he struggled with the intruder and during the struggle, "either he shot himself in the foot or the intruder pulled the trigger, but that they were fighting over the gun when he was shot," First Assistant Linn County Attorney Monica Slaughter said.
"He claimed that after he was shot in the living room area, he walked bloody into the bedroom to get the phone to call 911," she says. "Except all of the bloody footprints exited his bedroom, not entered, so it was obvious to the jury that he, after killing everybody, went in his room and had an 'oh s---' moment and shot himself."
Jan was shot five times, including twice in the back of the head. Melissa was shot in the right temple and left eye. His sister was shot in the rib cage and left eye. All the victims were shot with a .22 caliber browning semi-automatic rifle.
Jackson's Father Had Told Him to 'Grow Up' and Get a Job
Slaughter, who prosecuted the case with Assistant Linn County Attorney Jordan Schier, says that prior to the murders, Jackson's father "told him that he was tired of him not living up to expectations and that it was time for him to stop gaming and grow up and get a job," she says. "He was failing out of college, he was gaming, he was not doing anything, and so dad told him to get a job."
Jackson had approximately $30 in his bank account at the time of the shooting, she says.Slaughter says investigators discovered several home and neighborhood surveillance cameras and "all of the cameras failed to pick up the phantom burglar."
The gun, she says, belonged to the family and the box that stored the gun was found under Jackson's bed. Jackson's attorney didn't return a call for comment. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 3.
"Alex wanted the world to think he was a victim of this horrendous crime, but we know that is not the case, and now, everyone knows the truth of what happened that day," Jan's sister Kay Jackson and her daughter, Danielle Jackson Parsons, said in the statement after the guilty verdict, the Gazette reported.
"Alex murdered three members of our family and that pain will never go away," the family said. "Jan, Melissa and Sabrina were loved. They will live on in our hearts and the hearts of those who knew them forever."