A Down East man shot by police in late 2017 has pleaded not guilty to a string of charges stemming from the events surrounding the shooting.
Jason Jackson, 34, of East Machias entered two not guilty pleas in Machias District Court on July 24 — one for each of the two state cases against him related to his alleged criminal activities on Dec. 9, 2017, according to a court clerk. A Washington County grand jury indicted Jackson on a combined 11 charges — including robbery, burglary and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon — earlier this month.
The series of alleged events on Dec. 9 culminated when Jackson was shot by Marine Patrol Officer Matthew Carter during an armed confrontation inside a Machiasport duplex, which left Jackson hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds and resulted in the amputation of his left arm, according to law enforcement.
Carter also shot Jackson’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his two kids, Tiffany Smith, multiple times during the confrontation, police said. Smith, who lives inside the duplex, spent a few weeks in the hospital for injuries suffered in the shooting and is not facing any charges, according to her attorney, Don Brown.
Jackson’s Brewer-based criminal defense attorney, Matthew Erickson, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Thursday.
On Dec. 9, Jackson allegedly broke into a home in East Machias and, holding a gun, demanded money from a woman there, according to Washington County District Attorney Matt Foster, who is prosecuting the case. Jackson left when the woman told him she didn’t have any cash.
Police spent a few hours looking for Jackson that Saturday afternoon, and eventually recognized his car in Machias, Foster said. Jackson drove off, and deputies chased after him through a snowstorm until they arrived at the duplex at 33 Corn Hill Road in Machiasport around 8:30 p.m. Jackson left his car in the driveway and ran inside, according to police and a neighbor who witnessed it.
Some time over the next hour, Carter arrived at the duplex and confronted Jackson inside. Law enforcement and attorneys for Jackson and Smith have declined to describe what happened leading up to the shooting, citing their ongoing case.
Foster said Jackson became increasingly agitated and eventually pointed his gun at Carter, prompting him to shoot in self-defense, citing a statement from Carter. The 23-year-old Maine Marine Patrol officer has repeatedly declined to comment on the shooting while it is investigated by the Maine attorney general’s office, which is standard protocol whenever a law enforcement officer uses deadly force.
But Jackson’s civil attorney, Timothy Kenlan, disputes that Jackson was armed at the time he was shot, saying his client had complied with Carter’s orders and dropped the gun. Kenlan previously told the BDN that Jackson was in the throes of a “mental crisis” throughout the day on Dec. 9, and Smith was allegedly holding him in a “fetal” position when he was shot in the back, ankle and arm.
Separate of his pending criminal case, Jackson has taken the first steps to sue the law enforcement agencies involved in the shooting for damages regarding his injuries. Smith also intends to sue, according to Brown.
Jackson is on house arrest instead of in jail because of the nature of his wounds, Foster said. His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 21, for a dispositional hearing, a court clerk said.
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