Army vet turned murder defendant: "I can't fix it, but I'm sorry this all happened"


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - He served his country for nearly a decade as a military police officer in the U.S. Army, but on May 25, 2010, Oneida County prosecutors say he showed a less honorable side of himself when he shot and killed a defenseless man who was on the ground.

On Thursday, Marshal Jackson heard his sentence for the murder of Anthony Garner.

It happened on James Street in Utica, and the entire crime was caught on tape by a nearby surveillance camera. On Thursday, Oneida County Court Judge Michael L. Dwyer had one question for the Army veteran before him.

"Do you have any explanation as to why you would put a gun to his head and pull the trigger? Mr. Garner was executed. That's exactly what happened that night. He was defenseless and he was executed."

Jackson's defense attorney said one thing is to blame to for Jackson displaying a very different side of himself on May 25.

"I would say there's only one explanation for my client's actions as they're seen on the video and that would be alcohol. An entire life of having no problems, serving his country, coming from a good family, athlete in school that everything went down the drain with one bad decision," said Defense Attorney Rebecca Wittman.

Prosecutors shined a light on the price of that bad decision.

"What did this do? It took away a brother, a son, a father. A father to a little baby who will not grow up with the benefit of a dad being able to guide her or walk her down the aisle when she's ready to get married," said Prosecutor Joseph Saba.

Jackson himself offered a brief apology.

"I know this incident hurt a lot of people. I'm sorry. I can't fix it, but I'm sorry this all happened," said Jackson.

The judge sentenced Marshal Jackson to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of Anthony Garner. He received shorter sentences for weapons-related crimes, but they will be absorbed into the murder sentence.

The victim's father did not want to talk after the sentencing. Members of the the defendant's family were clearly upset at the sentence, storming out of the courtroom shouting and in tears.

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