James Lewis Jackson, 47, was executed by lethal injection on 7 February 2007 in Huntsville, Texas for the murders of his wife and two stepdaughters.
James and Sharon Jackson married in 1995. Sharon had two teenaged daughters - Sonceria, who was called "Sonny," and Ericka. James Jackson's heavy drug use and inability to hold a job produced problems in the marriage. On 8 April 1997, when Ericka, 18, came home from high school, Jackson, then 37, asked how she felt about her mother's plans to divorce him. After Ericka expressed ambivalence, Jackson strangled her with his hands. About thirty minutes later, Sonny, 19, came home from college. Jackson asked her the same question. Unaware that Jackson had just killed her sister, Sonny answered that she loved him and wanted to remain in his life. As she attempted to hug him, he strangled her. Jackson then put the two women in their beds. Later, Sharon, 39, called and asked for a ride home from work. Jackson picked her up and brought her back to the apartment. He told Sharon that the girls were sleeping. After Sharon rejected his attempts to reconcile their problems, he strangled her.
Before leaving the apartment, Jackson left behind a note reading, "I love Sharon, Sonny, Ericka. I could not take care of my family. I don't have a job. I gave them back to God. He and they will understand. James."
The following morning, Sharon's sister, Sabrina Farley, received a call from one of Sharon's co-workers, who was expecting Sharon to pick her up for work. Farley and her mother, Ethel, went to the Jacksons' apartment and found the three dead women. Sheriff's deputies were called out to the apartment in northern Harris county. They found Jackson's note and also observed that Ericka was nude from the waist down. While deputies were investigating the scene, James Jackson drove up. He was taken to the sheriff's office, where he confessed to the murders, giving the account related above.
At his trial, prosecutors presented evidence that following the murders, Jackson pawned his wife's sewing machine and used the money to buy drugs.
Jackson had a previous felony conviction in 1989 for shooting his children's grandfather. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. He served 4½ years before being paroled in 1994. He was still on parole at the time of the killings.
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