Prosecutors introduce surveillance video, 911 call in Eddie Ray Jackson, Jr. trial

Testimony continues Friday in Rapides Parish Courthouse
The first day of the murder trial of Eddie Ray Jackson, Jr. began April 15.
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 15, 2021 at 5:49 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The lead detective from the Alexandria Police Department assigned to the case of Eddie Ray Jackson, Jr., explained to a jury at Jackson’s trial Thursday frame-by-frame surveillance video of what he says happened when Jackson allegedly shot James Melton outside of the Save More convenience store in Feb. 2017.

Det. Torrance Bowens, who has since left Alexandria and now works in Alabama, showed the jury video when Melton pulled into the parking lot of the store.

He told the jury that he obtained the video from the Save More and said the video showed Jackson shooting Melton in his truck as Melton waited in the parking after giving a woman money to buy something inside. As we learned in court, that woman was going to the store to meet Melton. But, how they knew each other has not been revealed yet in court.

Bowens told the jury that he learned through his investigation that the woman also knew Jackson, as well as two others who were in the parking lot - Nicholas West and another man. West would later become a co-defendant in the case. Bowens said he later learned that the woman was dating West.

After the shooting, the four ended up at the police department for questioning. A brief audio statement was played for the jury where Jackson told Bowens he and one of the other individuals who was there “heard a gunshot.” He claimed he wasn’t involved.

In later testimony with another witness at the trial, a 911 call was played. In that call, which happened shortly after the shooting, the woman who was at the scene to meet Melton called police crying, as she reported the shooting.

Bowens explained earlier why the woman and the other man at the scene were never charged while Jackson and West were.

“They had no knowledge of what was about to take place,” Bowens said.

In the 911 call, the woman told police that she was going to meet Melton. She said Jackson, who was with the group at the time, said he “needed a lick.” But, she claimed in the 911 call that she had no idea Melton would be killed.

“One of the guys who was with us did it,” she said in the call. And later, “I got scared and I ran. [...] I didn’t have anything to do with it.”

In March 2018, West pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in lieu of an armed robbery charge. The murder charge against him was dismissed. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Jackson is charged with second degree murder and attempted armed robbery with a firearm. He’s being represented by Chad Guillot. Christopher Bowman and Johnny Giordano are prosecuting the case for the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office.

The case is being heard before Judge Greg Beard.

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