As the seventh anniversary of L.V. Wilson’s and Janee J. Johnson’s deaths approach, the man accused of killing both Augusta residents is standing trial this week and acting as his own attorney.
Andre Jackson, 36, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to charges of murder and weapon violations in the June 28, 2010, death of 38-year-old Wilson and the July 2, 2010, death of Johnson, 27.
Jackson’s case has dragged through the system in part because he was tried and convicted of armed robbery and burglary charges – crimes committed on June 21, 2010 –first in 2013. Since that conviction, the cases has been repeatedly delayed as Jackson has repeatedly asserted that he’d hired an Atlanta area attorney to represent him, . It continued to be delayed as Jackson rejected an appointed defense attorney and took the job on himself.
Jackson argued several motions Monday in Richmond County Superior Court, each of which would have delayed his trial further. Judge Sheryl B. Jolly, who has been presiding over Jackson’s cases, denied each motion. Jury selection started Monday afternoon.
Two possible prosecution witnesses may be people who were initially arrested with Jackson – Marcus Tyler and Mariah Federick.
Tyler pleaded guilty to reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter May 12. With credit for the time Tyler spent in jail awaiting trial, he was sentenced to 32 years on probation. The murder charges against Federick were dismissed because there was no evidence she was involved, the prosecutor said in 2014. Federick was nearly killed herself on June 29, 2010, when authorities say Jackson stabbed her repeatedly to silence her about the other crimes.
In the summer of 2010, Wilson was found outside his Haynie Street home by a Richmond County Sheriff’s deputy sent to check on a 911 hangup call. Four days later, Johnson’s body was found in her Spruce Street apartment. She had been repeatedly stabbed.
Jackson’s criminal history dates back to 1997 when he was charged as an adult with the crimes of armed robbery, aggravated assault and burglary in a home invasion. Those charges were dismissed in 2009 when witnesses could not be located. In between those years, Jackson was convicted of three different drug cases and a theft by extortion.
Not only does Jackson still face an unrelated charge of attempted murder in Federick’s stabbing, he faces charges including fleeing, obstruction and escape in a 2011 incident in which he took control of a Taliaferro County Sheriff’s transport vehicle and led officers on a three county chase. He also faces a charge of being an inmate in possession of marijuana for allegedly being found with the drug while in the Richmond County jail in May 2016.
Jackson has been serving a sentence of life in prison without parole for the 2013 armed robbery conviction.
Testimony in the murder trial is expected to begin Tuesday.
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