State Dismisses Murder Charge Against Firefighter's Son On Grounds Of Self-Defense

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The state on Tuesday dismissed murder charges against the son of a city firefighter in a November 2009 fatal shooting at Riverside Park.

Edward Jackson III did, however, plead guilty to possession of marijuana for resale. He was given a two-year sentence and required to serve 11 months and 29 days. He has served 120 days and will have to do another two months due to "two for one credit" at the workhouse.

Jackson's initial attorney, Matt Brown, claimed he was being beaten by two other men.

He is currently represented by Bryan Hoss.

Prosecutor Lance Pope told Judge Barry Steelman that the state could not overcome the presumption of self defense.

A prosecutor at the preliminary hears said the 18-year-old Jackson came to the park armed with a semi-automatic handgun.

Antonio Green was fatally shot at the park on Queens Drive off Amnicola Highway. Artie Watson, who was with Green, was charged with attempted aggravated robbery.

General Sessions Court Judge Bales at the preliminary hearing had agreed to lower the bond from $250,000 to $50,000 after testimony from the defendant's father, Edward Jackson Jr., a lieutenant in the Chattanooga Fire Department. He said his son had no criminal record, had a job and was active in church.

He said his son is "very mild and meek" and said he was surprised to learn he had a gun.

Darryl Williams said he drove his 1993 Suburban to the park and Jackson pulled up a short time later and got into his vehicle.

He said they were talking when Green and Watson walked up. He said he was watching a nearby basketball game and not paying much attention as the two men argued with Jackson.

He said Green then began punching Jackson in the face and dragged him out of the vehicle. He said Green got Jackson on the ground and began kicking him.

He said when Jackson was pulled out of the vehicle he heard a gun he had with him fall out.

Williams said he heard someone say, "He's got a gun," and he said all three of the men went for the weapon and Jackson got it. He said he was getting ready to go try to break up the fight when he heard shots fired.

He said Jackson ran off. He said Green was bleeding from the mouth, and he helped him into Watson's car.

Willie Davenport said he was playing basketball when he heard shots ring out. He said he ran for cover in a nearby bathroom.

He said he also later helped the injured Green into the vehicle. He said Green was crouched over and bleeding.

Detective Karl Fields said he went to Erlanger Hospital and found that Green had died from a shot to the chest.

He said he then went to Parkridge Hospital, where Jackson was taken. He said he had large knots on his head and blood in his hair and coming out of his ears. He said his left arm was in a sling.

He said Jackson told of being beat up by Green and said Watson also joined in the attack. He said he then went for the gun, clutched it to his side and began shooting.

He said Watson got the gun from him and fired several shots at him as he ran off.

Police found six Winchester shell casings at the park along with blood in the street.

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