116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The January trial for a 21-year-old University of Iowa sophomore charged with fatally shooting his parents and sister in June will be reset to a later date.
Attorneys for Alexander Ken Jackson told a judge Friday during a case status hearing that they are still waiting on discovery - evidence - in the case from the prosecution, which they understand is being shared as soon as possible. The defense said the Jan. 25 trial date isn’t possible, considering they lack all the evidence and haven’t started depositions.
Assistant Linn County Attorney Jordan Schier said he didn’t oppose continuing the trial.
Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Lars Anderson said he will allow the prosecution and defense to work out a new trial date with court administration.
Jackson didn’t attend this hearing, which is the second or third time the defense has done this. Most defendants charged with murder or other serious felonies attend status hearings, but they have been allowed to waive their appearance during the pandemic.
Anderson did point out to the defense on Friday that the waiver of appearances allowed by the Iowa Supreme Court order, as part of orders made during the health crisis, will expire at the end of the year, unless it is extended.
Jackson’s lawyers a few hours before this and previous hearings, filed a waiver for Jackson’s appearance, which he has signed, and a judge usually approves.
Jackson, who graduated from Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He is accused of killing his father, Jan Jackson, 61; mother, Melissa Jackson, 68; and sister, Sabrina Jackson, 19, on June 15.
Police were called about 8:30 a.m. to the Jackson home at 4414 Oak Leaf Ct. NE that day and found the three family members fatally shot, a criminal complaint said.
Jackson, then 20, told police that he’d been awakened by the sound of gunfire and was shot in the foot as he struggled over a rifle with a masked intruder.
Investigators found no evidence of forced entry or burglary at the home, the complaint stated.
They found a .22-caliber Browning semi-automatic rifle in the home that police believe is the murder weapon. Jackson said he and his father had left it on the fireplace after cleaning it the night before, according to the complaint.
A prosecutor, during Jackson’s initial court appearance, said Jackson “concocted” the story of an intruder to cover up the “execution” of his family.
Jackson remains in jail on a $3 million cash-only bail.
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