A Clark County jury Thursday sentenced a Prescott man to 90 years in prison for serving as an accomplice in a June 2010 attack on a Hollywood businessman.

By Joe Phelps
A Clark County jury Thursday sentenced a Prescott man to 90 years in prison for serving as an accomplice in a June 2010 attack on a Hollywood businessman.
In what prosecutors and the public defender agreed was an odd day in the Clark County Circuit Courtroom, 49-year-old Richard Jackson Jr. changed his plea to guilty in the moments before an 11-woman/1-man jury panel was set to hear evidence in the trial. The original charges of attempted capital murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping were amended to exclude the attempted murder charge and to include two counts of theft of property. Prosecutor Blake Batson said the charges were amended "based on the cooperation of [Jackson]."
Jury selection took the entire morning, as the 60-plus jury panel first had to complete orientation before the panel was dwindled down to 13. In fact, jury orientation and selection took roughly the same amount of time as the court proceedings.
During the sentencing hearing, jurors still heard some evidence they would have heard if the trial had taken place.
On June 24, 2010, Jackson walked up to Danny Buck's Highway 53 West residence, where he knocked on the door and requested an automotive part from Buck's salvage yard, based on testimony Buck gave the jury. Jackson then led Buck through the salvage yard a few hundred yards from the residence where Jackson's brother, Edward, awaited to attack Buck and rob him.
The Jackson brothers bound Buck with wire and beat him before fleeing on foot to the highway, where they got in a gold-colored car and left the scene. It wasn't until Nov. 23, 2011, that Richard confessed to Clark County investigators that he acted in the crime. The confession took place while Richard was in custody at the Prescott Police Department.
He has been in custody since his Jan. 6 arrest. Edward Jackson remains incarcerated in a state prison for aggravated residential burglary, assault and possession of a firearm by a certain person in a 2010 Pulaski County case.
Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson told a Siftings reporter that the sheriff's office went to Edward after hearing Richard's confession, but that Edward "lawyered up" and refused to speak to authorities about the investigation. "We plan to pursue" local charges against Edward upon his release, Watson said.
Jackson's attorney, public defender Timothy Beckham, told the jury the crime "would have never been solved if not for [Richard's] statement to police." Beckham went on to explain that his client was not the suspect who used the gun in the assault on Buck.
After a lunch recess, Buck offered testimony of his recollection of the day he was robbed.
He said the day started out as any normal business day, as the 58-year-old business owner drove to Caney to pick up a truck and returned home to return some missed phone calls. While he was on the phone, a black male (Richard Jackson) walked up and knocked on the door. Buck's wife, Pat, answered the door. The man they thought was a customer said he needed a starter for his vehicle and remained on the porch for some time while Danny Buck made his phone calls.
When Danny Buck made himself available, Richard Jackson "acted like he didn't know exactly what kind of car he had," Buck said.
Buck noted that his two grandchildren, then ages 5 and 9, were at his home during the robbery.
Buck said that Richard Jackson seemed to lead him to an area other than where they would find the correct part, but that Buck continued to take his lead. "We went down the hill and crossed the creek" to where a second man came up behind Buck and knocked him to the ground.
"I was unsure how he hit me," Buck testified. "I fell into some scrap iron and blacked out." He told the jury that, when he regained consciousness, "the good Lord told me I was gonna be all right."
He continued: "My left arm was behind my back, and they were trying to get my right arm behind my back. They couldn't do it. … They said, 'If you don't put your arm behind your back, we're going to shoot you.'"
Then Edward put a gun to Buck's head and pulled the trigger.
"Click, click," Buck said of the sound he heard from the misfiring gun.
Richard Jackson's Nov. 23 statement to police indicated a toy gun was used in the robbery, but Buck, who served as Military Police for the US Marine Corps, said it was real. "I saw a glimpse of the gun. I felt it on my head."
The Jackson brothers continued wrestling with Buck, pushing his face into the pile of scrap metal while trying to tie him in electrical wire. Buck said it took them three tries, but that he could untie himself each time, taking about 30 seconds to get out each time.
The Jackson brothers eventually took Buck's wallet containing about $230 in cash, as well as some cash he had in his front pocket, then fled. Buck said he feared the men would return to his house, where Pat and their grandchildren were, but that they went in an opposite direction toward their car.
Buck said the men left him injured. "There wasn't hardly a place on me that wasn't bruised," he said, noting that it took nine months for him to completely heal. The injuries forced him to close his business for a couple of weeks.
Deputy prosecutor Dan Turner told the jury of Richard Jackson's criminal history, providing a lengthy list of 16 previous felony convictions in Nevada and Ouachita counties.
After that, Buck read to the jury a prepared statement aimed at Richard Jackson. It read, in part: "You took away trust and security for my family." Buck said he and Pat spent their wedding anniversary that year purchasing two guns for home protection. The robbery was "an act of cowardice … I resent you for this more than you'll ever know." Buck went on to conclude with how the robbery has affected the way his grandchildren view him as a strong male figure.
Jackson took the stand, but did not provide a statement to the jury.
In closing, Turner recounted Jackson's prior convictions, noting that he has averaged one felony for every three years of his life. And, he added, Jackson never once successfully completed parole. Prior to Thursday's convictions in Clark County, Jackson had been sentenced to 1,176 months, or 98 years, in prison. "This man is beyond rehabilitation," Turner said in closing.
Beckham argued that his client "stepped up and admitted responsibility." Speaking to Danny Buck, Beckham said Jackson did not provide testimony because he is "not well-spoken, but he asked me to apologize to you."
In the prosecution's closing argument, Batson noted Jackson on Thursday had a grand total of 20 felony convictions. "He was paroled in February 2010" for an earlier conviction. "But guess where he was that June, just a few months after he was released from prison? He was robbing Mr. Buck."
Referring to Jackson's unsuccessful attempts at parole, Batson argued that "mercy has been shown to this man!"
After about an hour and a half of deliberating, the jury returned with sentencing. In addition to the 90 years, Jackson also received a $12,000 fine. He will be eligible for parole after 20 years.
Batson said in a press release Thursday that "the defendant pled guilty to the crimes he committed and justice was served by the sentence of the jury. This was great work by the Clark County Sheriff's Department.
"This was essentially a cold case. There were no suspects. Sheriff Watson and I met on this case right after he came into office. He and his guys were working hard to solve it. Without those efforts and the efforts of the initial investigator Jim Pennington and later Investigator Brian Daniel this case would still be unsolved. All the officers that worked this case deserve our praise.
"This is a very strong message by our citizens who are so willing to serve on juries. This type of conduct will be punished severely."
Watson added, "I am glad to see this day come. We are going to actively pursue people that commit these crimes in Clark County."