Murder convict's brother arrested in northeast Ga. Jackson will be tried here for Severn slaying


The brother of a Fort Meade soldier convicted of murder in the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl has been arrested in Georgia on a related murder charge.

James Jackson, 27, was arrested without incident on Friday in his hometown of Washington, Ga., said Donald Hauf, a county police homicide detective. His brother, 27-year-old Jessie Jackson, said last month before being sentenced that he would testify that the firebombing and fatal shooting at the girl's home in the Pioneer City area of Severn was James' idea.

During legal proceedings covering nearly three years, prosecutors changed their theory behind the slaying of Sun Young Chong, a Meade High School sophomore. They originally argued Jessie Jackson firebombed the house to try to intimidate the girl's mother, Suk Cha Chong, who had filed assault charges against Jackson with Army officials.

Although testimony at his 1990 trial showed he had been in the Fort Meade barracks at the time of the killing, a jury decided that Jackson was indeed behind the killing, and a judge sentenced him to life plus 30 years in prison.

But that conviction was overturned on appeal, and by the time Jackson's retrial began in March, prosecutors conceded that Jackson did not carry out the killing but argued that he had arranged for James to do it.

On March 27, shortly after the second trial's conclusion, a warrant was issued for the arrest of James Jackson on first-degree murder charges.

Before being sentenced last month to life plus 30 years in prison, Jessie Jackson identified his brother as the person who had assaulted Suk Cha Chong in the first place.

He admitted to having sent his brother to the woman's house, but said firebombing and shooting had not been part of the plan.

Judge Eugene M. Lerner said he would consider reducing the sentence if Jessie Jackson cooperated with police and prosecutors in arresting, trying and convicting his brother.

James Jackson was arrested while at work last week, Hauf said.

"He's going to be flown back here to Maryland to stand trial," the detective added. "That'll be this week."

James Jackson's lawyer, Pamela North, and Jessie Jackson's lawyer, Robert H. Waldman, complained that police broke an agreement to allow James Jackson to perform court-ordered community service stemming from a traffic ticket and then surrender in Maryland later this week.

Hauf said he was not aware of any such agreement.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad