The Herald Bulletin

March 19, 2013

Man asks to withdraw guilty plea, lashes out when denied

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — A man who pleaded guilty to child molest charges in February asked for his plea to be withdrawn during his sentencing hearing Monday and responded with a profane outburst when the motion was denied.

Robert D. Jackson, 30, of Alexandria, was sentenced to an 18-year prison term by Judge David Happe of Madison Circuit Court 4.

Jackson pleaded guilty to charges of child molest and sexual misconduct with a minor for an incident in 2011 involving two girls, ages 9 and 14.

Before the sentencing, Jackson claimed to Happe that he had been pressured into pleading guilty and denied having even signed the agreement, which had his signature on it. After Happe denied the motion to withdraw and a motion by Jackson’s attorney to move the sentencing to a later date, Jackson yelled a profanity.

“I keep getting screwed,” Jackson yelled in court.

Happe threatened to have Jackson removed from the hearing, but moved on after Jackson calmed down.

Jimmy McDole, Jackson’s attorney, asked for leniency in sentencing because Jackson pleaded guilty to the offense.

A female family member of one of the victims testified and asked for the maximum sentence for Jackson. She said the victim, who has special needs, has been struggling with anger issues that seemed to get worse after the reported incidents.

“It’s stressing out the whole family,” the woman said.

Deputy Prosecutor Michael Chambers argued Jackson’s outburst hardly reflected mitigation and cited Jackson’s long criminal history, which started in 2002 when Jackson was convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor. Chambers also said Jackson hasn’t shown any remorse.

Happe agreed.

“I can’t find an expression of remorse for these crimes,” Happe said before he handed down the sentence.

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