A jury convicted a Las Vegas man on 10 charges Monday in connection with a shooting on the Strip that injured four people.
After about two hours of deliberation, the jury found Robert Jackson guilty of five counts of attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon, four counts of battery with the use of a deadly weapon, and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.
Prosecutors said Jackson fired five shots on the crowded Strip in August 2007 in the midst of an ongoing battle between rival gangs Young Ballas Squad and Wood. The bullets hit three tourists and a Las Vegas resident. Jackson was affiliated with high-ranking Squad gang members, prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo said.
Each of the attempted murder and battery charges carry an enhancement that the crime was committed “with the intent to promote, further or assist a criminal gang.”
Eric Pratt, a friend who was with Jackson on the night of the shooting, has said he saw Markus Burton give a gun to Jackson, who was wearing a green, collared shirt and plaid shorts. Pratt, who had sold the gun to Burton, said he saw Jackson fire into the crowd outside Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.
Burton pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit murder.
Video surveilance showed Jackson running away after the shooting and ditching his lime green polo shirt in a trash can. Police also found the Smith & Wesson handgun in a nearby trash can.
Jackson was sought for four years before being captured in Chicago. Jackson’s case was featured five times on the “America’s Most Wanted” TV show, and he was named to the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 most-wanted list.
Outside of court, Jackson’s mother, Michelle Jackson, said her son “has never been a gang member” and did not know he was wanted in the case.
After the verdict, Jackson hugged his mother, aunt, girlfriend and two small children before posing for a picture with them.
District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ordered Jackson held without bail until his sentencing next month. He faces up to 40 years in prison on each of the attempted murder charges alone.
As court marshals led Jackson out of court, his mother said “I love you.” He turned toward her and said the same.
One of the shooting victims, Brittany O’Dale, who lives in California, said the verdict helped lift “an incredible weight off my shoulders.”
She was in town for her bachelorette party when a gunshot pierced her right leg, shattering her tibia. A runner since age 11, O’Dale had to use a wheelchair for 12 weeks after the shooting.
She told jurors that she had three surgeries because of complications from the titanium rod that was placed in her leg.
In a phone interview Monday, O’Dale said she has returned to Las Vegas only for court appearances.
“I still don’t feel comfortable enough to go out on the Strip late at night,” she said. “I don’t feel like it’s safe yet.”
Jackson’s defense lawyers, who argued at trial that another man committed the shooting, said they intend to appeal the verdict.
Contact reporter David Ferrara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker.