Tuesday, 05 June 2007 01:37

Murder Suspect David Jackson In Court Last Friday

slide20The man accused of murder, elder abuse and receiving stolen property appeared in court late last week. Ione resident, David Jackson is facing charges related to both stealing from and then brutally murdering 73 year old John Baker of Ione last summer on July 26th. Jackson's court appearance was brief as his trial readiness conference was continued until June 11th @ 2 p.m.

The charges stem from a series of events that occurred last summer. According to information revealed during Jackson’s preliminary hearing held December of 2006, 73 year old John Baker was discovered by his caretaker on the afternoon of July 26th. Officer Garrett Henderson of the Ione Police Dept testified he had spoken with Jackson’s sister, who called police twice in the early morning hours of the 26th to report that the defendant had called her claiming to have killed a 13 year old boy in a fight.  Officer Henderson contacted the defendant outside of his apartment a little after 1 am. on 7/26. Jackson had an injured right hand and his knife sheath was empty. 

slide24Henderson also testified that during a subsequent search of defendant's apartment he found a pair of denim shorts that appeared to have blood stains on them. 2-3 weeks prior nearby neighbor, Shirley Westphall, testified that she had heard Jackson threatening Baker. Westphall said she heard Jackson and Baker having a loud conversation and she testified that Jackson was asking Baker for money.  Baker said that he could not loan Jackson anymore money, and that Jackson hadn't paid him for the money he borrowed previously.  Baker said he hadn't got his check yet.  Jackson allegedly replied, "You know when your check comes, you'll pay me some money or I'll kill you." Westphall reported this information to the DA’s office following Bakers murder. At Jackson’s preliminary hearing DA Investigator John D'Agostini also testified. He revealed that after initially giving investigators a false story of his whereabouts the night of July 25 and the early morning hours of July 26, Jackson admitted to the killing of Baker.  Jackson said that he and Baker had been involved in an argument and Baker threw a framed photo at Jackson which broke cutting Jackson's hand.  Jackson said he then hit Baker in the face, quote "Pretty hard for a white boy," (unquote) causing Baker to lose consciousness.  After about 10 minutes, Jackson said Baker regained consciousness and hit Jackson in the groin area.  Jackson said he "saw red", hit Baker, and then he doesn't remember anything until he was standing over Baker with a knife dripping blood, watching Baker die. Jackson told D'Agostini that he tried to "clean his tracks,” by removing evidence from the scene as well as Baker’s check book and placing them in a nearby dumpster along with his bloody clothing.  D'Agostini also testified that he had spoken with Dr. Mark Super of the Sacramento Coroner's Office who performed the forensic autopsy and Dr. Super told D’Agostini that he could not rule out that the victim was also strangled and tortured. 

DA Todd Riebe said, “I will be filing a motion in limine for the court to consider the proposed statements of the victim's aunt who lives in Hawaii.” Riebe explained, “An in limine motion is a pre-trial motion to obtain a ruling in advance of the jury trial.”  DA Riebe went on to say, “In this case, I want a ruling regarding the admissibility of evidence.  Specifically statements that were made by the deceased to his aunt, who is 85 years old and of fragile health they were close and would speak to each other frequently. The victim made statements regarding the defendant to his Aunt.” Riebe added, “I believe there is an argument that can be made that the statements are not heresy, and even if they are that there is an exception that should allow their admittance. And I want to have a ruling from the judge first as to the proposed statements.” Riebe said that Baker’s Aunt had spoken to a DA investigator and revealed information about the defendant and that he plans to inform the judge of what those statements were and hopes he will make a tentative ruling as to whether those statements are admissible. If they are found to be than Baker’s aunt will fly in from Hawaii for a conditional examination.  Riebe also added that, “Both sides must file witness lists by 6/11.