LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — 43-year-old Donald Ray Jackson Jr. will possibly face the death penalty for the October 24th, 2020 murders of his two sons.
Jackson’s 12-year-old son Austin and 14-year-old son Logan were found in his home at 14970 Hillside Road in rural Leavenworth shot to death. Police recovered shell casings and a .40 caliber handgun that they believe was used in the murders.
After the killings Jackson fled to Oklahoma and was apprehended near the Texas border with his 3-year-old and 7-year-old daughters after Amber Alerts had been issued across several states. His daughters were unharmed and Jackson wasn’t charged with kidnapping.
Jackson appeared in court Thursday, June 8th, for his arraignment, where the court entered a “not guilty” plea on his behalf after he stayed silent when asked what his plea was. A defendant doesn’t have to take a stance on being guilty or not guilty and can “remain silent according to rights guaranteed by the 5th Amendment,” Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said.
There is a motions hearing set for October 30th, 2023 but Jackson’s defense team has stated that they won’t be prepared to face a jury until 2025.
Jackson has been charged with capital murder. If convicted, may be the first person in the state of Kansas to be executed since 1965.