Shooting Suspect Denied Bond
Ralph Leon Jackson, the Sherando man accused of shooting two people along the Blue Ridge Parkway, will stay behind bars. Defense attorney David Smith argued that 56-year-old Jackson's lack of a violent criminal history made him a good candidate for bail. But through a video-conference, the judge denied bond, and Jackson replied "Thank you very little."
The red car connected to the crime is actually a burgundy Kia that investigators say Jackson borrowed from a family member in Pennsylvania. Augusta County Sheriff Randy Fisher says, "We were able to get some items out of the car consistent with other items that we recovered at the crime scene."
That crime scene is the Rock Point Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, where 27-year-old Timothy Davis and 18-year-old Christina Floyd were struck in the back by a shotgun blast. The injured teenager fought back, and in the process, might have collected the suspect's DNA.
Sheriff Fisher says, "We've collected samples from her hands and her fingernails and it's been submitted to the lab, so we'll just have to wait and see."
Police swarmed Jackson's home on Howardsville Turnpike near Sherando Wednesday afternoon. One neighbor described the Jackson arrest in vivid detail. He heard a helicopter overhead and looked out to see deputies and police officers staging in many driveways of nearby homes. Moments later he saw one deputy fire a gas bomb into the Jackson house and SWAT teams move in.
Sheriff Fisher says deputies started watching Jackson's just after a CrimeStoppers call first named him as a suspect. "What we needed was a name, a car, and a face to go with the crime scene," said Fisher.
Jackson worked at DelMar Auto-Body in Staunton. His employer described him as an industrious, easy-going man who showed no signs of violence. He added that Jackson has been battling late-stage prostate cancer.
Shooting victim Christina Floyd is using Facebook to thank people for their concerns about her. In one of her posts, the Fluvanna County High School student thanks the nurses that have been helping her recover. Floyd also says she appreciates her mother and brother for being by her bedside. Floyd also thanked her many friends for their support.