Aaron Jackson has been convicted of murder in the first degree of John Thornton, Washington Park mayor. Although the incident took place two years ago, a lengthy and complicated trial delayed the verdict.
Thornton’s Widow Relieved
The trial concluded a few days ago when the verdict was read. After this, Thornton’s widow, Sharon Thornton collapsed in tears. On the 1st of April, 2010, Thornton was driving his car through Washington Park when he was shot. The vehicle slammed into a tree. According to Sharon, God has delivered justice. She thanked the jury and was relieved that the trial was finally over.
This was the second time Jackson was being tried for the crime. Last year, a mistrial was declared after a female eyewitness from the prosecution collapsed in full view of the jurors. The witness implicated Kim McAfee, a top detective from Washington Park, by testifying that he offered her a bribe to say he was not at the crime scene.
McAfee Allegedly Threatened Witness
The eyewitness added that the detective threatened to arrest her on false charges if she did not do as he said. A mistrial was declared by Judge Milton Wharton after the witness withdrew her testimony. At present, McAfee is in a federal jail serving a conviction on charges of fraud.
According to an attorney of St. Clair County, Brendan Kelly, men who are guilty of the most violent crimes often walk free when police officials are implicated in the case and witnesses withdraw their testimony based on threats and bribes. Kelly was grateful that the jury saw the truth and pronounced a guilty verdict.
The jury, comprising of five men and seven women, left the trial immediately after the verdict was announced and declined to comment to journalists. Although no gunshot residue was found on Jackson’s hand, trace amounts were detected on his shirt, which was the prosecutions key argument.