The mother of homicide victim Jamaul Crockett voiced frustrations over how her son’s case was handled at the sentencing of the man convicted of killing him.
Aaron Jackson, 41, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed in June, less than a year after the homicide occurred on Aug. 5, 2020.
Crockett’s mother spoke at the Nov. 5 hearing, explaining how her 36-year-old son had just gotten out of jail and went to smoke the synthetic cannabinoid K2 with friends nearby, including Jackson. After Crockett became violent, Jackson pulled out a knife and stabbed him. Less than fourteen hours after getting out of jail, he was dead.
Crockett’s mother said it took the prosecution 68 days to get in touch with her family. She complained of a lack of communication, including when it came to discussing plea offers.
As part of the plea deal Crockett took, the prosecution agreed to recommend a nine-and-a-half-year sentence. Judge Lee honored that sentencing recommendation.
Crockett’s mother called Judge Lee part of a “black robe gang” and said he plays a different role in the correctional system than police officers, who she says are tired of locking up the same people.
Judge Lee asked Crockett’s mother to take a seat multiple times throughout her statement as she vocalized her concerns in the courtroom.
“The jail is a revolving door,” she said, saying Jackson has never successfully completed probation.
Crockett’s best friend, who knew him since he was 14-years-old, described Crockett as a “good man” and expressed similar concerns to those of the victim’s mother.
“This is my best friend man and I want you to see my face,” he told Judge Lee, asking him to make the “best decision possible” in regards to Jackson’s sentence and give him “no mercy”.
The best friend noted that he has been in front of the court before for his own cases but this is different.
Judge Lee apologized to the two for how the situation was handled. He said that, while plea agreements are not unusual, the sentencing guidelines agreed upon are a little less than mid-range for the charge. If Judge Lee did reject the terms, he said the case would have to go to trial.
The prosecution explained how Jackson was cooperating with officers and explained to them how Crockett had become belligerent and physical but showed responsibility for the murder early on. They described the incident as having a “very unusual set of circumstances” compared to what they have seen in their time as a prosecutor.
A letter written by Jackson was read briefly in his sentencing hearing. In the letter, he said the homicide “does not reflect the love I have for people.” Growing up in the environment he was in, he said he had to learn to protect himself and quickly take action in violent situations. He has nothing but respect for the court process and is confident he will be the change in his community.
“We all miss out on the greatness of each human soul,” the letter read.
Jackson’s nine-and-a-half year prison sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release.
“She deserved better from us all,” Judge Lee said of Crockett’s mother.