Son Kills Father, Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

Baltimore Court Seal

A 30-year-old Baltimore man convicted in 2020 of murdering his father was sentenced to 25 years for second-degree murder on Feb. 25 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Yvette M. Bryant

Ruben Jackson, Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder and use of a firearm during a violent crime in connection to an incident on April 14, 2019. 

On February 19, 2020, Jackson was convicted of murdering his father, Ruben Jackson, Sr. and was sentenced to 25 years for second-degree murder and five years for use of a firearm during a violent crime with three years on supervised probation. The charges are set to run concurrently.  

Upon release from prison, the defendant must register as a gun offender. 

Judge Bryant handed down her sentence after more than an hour of the defense arguing for a reduced sentence. Initially, Jackson was facing a maximum of 60 years for second-degree murder and 20 years for use of a firearm during a violent crime. 

The defendant’s defense attorney Wyndal Gordon requested a sentence of ten years, citing prolonged abuse Jackson, Jr. experienced at the hands of his father, the victim. 

Gordon detailed the extreme abuse Jackson Jr. and his mother faced at the hands of the victim. Gordon told the court that Jackson, Sr. began physically and mentally abusing Jackson, Jr. when he was only four years old, and said the abuse continued until the day of the incident. 

According to Gordon, Jackson, Sr. had created a “house of horror” for Jackson, Jr. and his mother,  including threats from Jackson Sr. to kill his son, his wife, and himself if they ever tried to leave him. 

Gordon called an expert witness to the stand, a clinical social worker, who verified the extensive abuse Jackson, Jr. experienced and the impact on his mental health. The social worker told the court about several instances of severe abuse, including Jackson, Jr. being tied up and duct taped to a chair, where he was forced to watch his father rape his mother at gunpoint, multiple times throughout his childhood. 

The defendant’s mother also gave an impact statement expressing how difficult the journey has been and how much she loved her son. Gordon recalled a moment in his first interview with the defendant’s mother where she said “I loved my husband, but I love my son more.” 

Gordon and the social worker emphasized Jackson, Jr.’s learning disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorder. She also said Jackson, Jr.’s developmental deficits were a point of contention between him and his father, precipitating the abuse he endured. 

Rather than granting counsel a specific sentence, Judge Bryant handed down a sentence that was in between the recommendations by sentencing the defendant to 25 years instead of the proposed 60 years from the prosecutor or the 10 years by defense attorney Gordon. 

Judge Bryant recommended Jackson, Jr. serve his sentence at Patuxent Institution, a treatment oriented maximum-security prison in Jessup, MD due to his documented history of mental health issues and his desire to receive treatment. 

According to Maryland’s Judiciary website, Jackson does not have any more upcoming hearings. 

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