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‘Abhorrent, heinous, and brutal’: Iowa man gets max sentence for cold-blooded execution of parents and sister

Alexander Jackson in court on Jan. 25, 2023, hearing his guilty verdict for killing his father Jan Perry Jackson, mother Melissa Ferne Jackson, and sister Sabrina Hana Jackson. (Screenshot: Law&Crime Network)

Alexander Ken Jackson in court on Jan. 25, 2023 (Law&Crime screenshot)

A 22-year-old man in Iowa will spend the rest of his life behind bars for meticulously executing his parents and sister inside of their home, then shooting himself in the foot and staging a home invasion to try and lay the blame on a fictitious attacker.

Linn County Chief District Judge Lars G. Anderson on Friday handed down three life sentences without the possibility for parole to Alexander Ken Jackson for fatally shooting his father Jan Jackson, 61; mother Melissa Jackson, 68; and sister Sabrina Jackson, 19, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show. Judge Anderson ordered each of the life sentences to be served consecutively.

During the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Monica Slaughter specifically asked the court to impose the life sentences consecutively, arguing that each of the three “abhorrent, heinous, and brutal” murders were “separate and distinct” criminal actions, according to a report from The Gazette. She went on to emphasize that the “execution” of the Jackson family “shook the community to its core.”

All three victims were fatally shot in different rooms in the family’s home.

During the trial, prosecutors described how Jackson’s sister was shot twice, once in her chest and a second through her eye. His father was shot five times in multiple areas, including the head, neck, and stomach, while his mother took two shots to the head from close range. The attacks were said to have started from a distance, with Jackson closing that distance to get “up close and personal” with each family member before killing them.

Following the murders, Jackson then shot himself in the foot and called 911, blaming the brutal killings on a fabricated intruder.

As seen on body camera footage shown in court, responding officers found him in the home, on the ground and shot in the foot. He claimed that he was sleeping on the porch when he heard a sound and got into a struggle with an intruder who he described as a Black man wearing black.

But there was no evidence of forced entry, stolen items, or anyone outside of the immediate family being present at the home that day, prosecutors said.

Further, authorities reportedly said that just prior to the slayings, Jackson’s father had ordered his son to get a job or find somewhere else to live. Jackson, who had only $30 in his personal bank account at the time of the murders, stood to inherit more than $2 million from his parents’ estate, The Gazette reported. Due to his conviction, other family members will reportedly inherit the Jackson family’s estate.

In addition to the prison sentences, Judge Anderson also ordered Jackson to pay $150,000 in restitution. That money is to be paid to the same family members that inherit Jan and Melissa’s estate.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.