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A mother’s pursuit of her son’s killer



Published: Sun, December 19, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

jgoodwin@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

April Jackson once thought the man she believes killed her son in 2009 had beaten the justice system, but the heartbroken mother now finds comfort in knowing a court date is coming.

photo

Geoffrey Hauschild|The Vindicator.April Jackson and her son Joseph stand outside a friend's business on Hylda Ave. after speaking about her son who was killed last year and whose killers have never been brought to justice.

It was May 25, 2009, when April Jackson last spoke with her 17-year-old son, Ashten Jackson. The teen left home with Jackson’s former boyfriend, Paul Brown, and was not heard from again. Jackson immediately knew something was wrong because she stayed in constant contact with her three sons.

By May 27, police were searching for the missing teen, but April Jackson took matters into her own hands. After receiving an anonymous call that her son was murdered and left on the East Side, she began sending text messages and looking on the Internet for volunteers to help search for her son.

The search party found the body of Ashten Jackson in an East Side field.

“This situation has made us closer as a family. It has made us stronger, but it has been devastating to my mother and father. He [her father] keeps calling my other kids Ashten because he misses him so much,” she said. “I have other kids, but Ashten was like my best friend. We would talk about anything and everything.”

Since the murder, April Jackson has been conducting a personal investigation and crusade to find her son’s killer. She said details of the crime and his actions after the murder have led her to believe Paul Brown is responsible. She said Brown would have had no reason to kill her child other than robbery.

April Jackson lost track of Brown, but she is not the only person to believe he is guilty.

Police charged Brown with the crime, and a Mahoning County grand jury indicted him on the murder charge in early 2009, something April Jackson did not know.

Brown was scheduled to appear for arraignment in November 2009 but failed to appear for the hearing. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

April Jackson thought the issue had been dropped and Brown would not appear in court for her son’s murder, but law-enforcement officials said Brown is in a federal prison in Florida serving time for illegal possession of a firearm. Upon his release in September 2014, he will return to Ohio to face the murder charge.

Capt. Rod Foley of the Youngstown Police Department said the case against Brown was never forgotten. He said that when a fugitive is believed to have left town and is wanted here, the information is turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service or the Violent Crimes Task Force for apprehension.

“If we find him, he will certainly come back here and stand trial,” said Foley.

Brown was found to be at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Fla. An order issued by Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court says that Brown is to be delivered to the common-pleas court here to go forward with the arraignment hearing he missed more than a year ago.

Jackson is happy to know that Brown will soon face trial for the murder of her son but said she will not have closure until justice is done.

“My son was only 17 years old and had made a complete turnaround. He was back in school and doing fine. Now, my son’s headstone is on his grave,” she said. “I want [Brown] in the electric chair.”

Ohio no longer uses the electric chair for executions. The state’s death penalty now is carried out by lethal injection.


Comments

1Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

"Brown is in a federal prison in Florida serving time for illegal possession of a firearm. Upon his release in September 2014, he will return to Ohio to face the murder charge"

So Florida didn't drop the gun specification on this fine fellow and put him on probation ? When returned to Youngstown years after the crime the charge will be plea bargained down and he will be lucky to serve ten years .

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Yet another example of what's wrong with the justice system in Youngstown. Why didn't they bring Brown back for trial before the evidence goes cold and try him now? That way he would move from FL to OH to serve his additional time without any break when he's released in 2014. I suspect Brown will get off scott free because all the evidence will be long gone by 2014.

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3tonyb2913(20 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

This is really sad r.i.p. to this young man.I really feel for his mom,i wish we could take her pain away!

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4starofesther(168 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

There is man's justice and there is God's judgment...
There are many choices in this life but only two for eternity...I would speak that this man not get out in ten years but reap what he sowed
I thank God for Heaven for innocent people who left here before there time! I pray that find comfort in the Almighty Lord Our God for our loved ones that are not here on earth but in Heaven where they will see there loved ones again!

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5starofesther(168 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The Almighty is against murder ...innocent people being slain...Ten Commandments!

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6Ytownboy(142 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

My heart goes out to April Jackson. God Bless.

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

"The teen left home with Jackson’s former boyfriend, Paul Brown"

April Jackson brought Paul Brown into her home . Lifestyles have a deadly effect on people and their families .

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8Cassie(88 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The terrible toll of death among young males in Youngstown is devastating. My heart and prayers go out to April Jackson and all of the mothers and families that have lost loved ones to murder. How can anyone blame lifestyles in these tragedies? No one can have any idea of the situation and our only reactions should be sympathy and caring for the families and outrage at these continuing deaths.

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9Amillion(2 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The fact that anyone would blame the mother is nothing short of being stupid. Do you really think the mother would have willing let her son around him if he would have known he was going to murder him or anyone? Oh to say its the hoodrats fault and you weren't murdered bc your parents are together...please!!! That has nothing NOTHING to do with it!!! Go take your ignorant self and look in the mirror. Youare what's wrong with our society. Not to mention how many fathers have killed their kids and families or abuse em. It has nothing to do with it. Instead of being disgusting and stupid open your eyes and brain and actually think wgite you post something. My guess is you both are nothing but white racist idiots who have been sheltered and taught nothing but ignorance your whole life. Idiots....

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Amillion :
"Youare what's wrong with our society. "

Here, here, now ! How insensitive of you to infer that I am to blame . So I should be tried for this crime instead of Paul Brown ?

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11redvert(2065 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

So, what will be said in the hood the next time that a young black man is murdered? Okay, repeat after me, "I don't know nothing, I don't see nothing"

When nothing changes, nothing changes!!!

When the black community decides that enough is enough, things will change. Not until then.

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12Amillion(2 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

You guys all act like it's a black thing that only black people kill black people. Wake up! People kill people...it's stupid and ignorant today it's only blacks doing drive bys. Um yea no. White people, Hispanics, etc are out commuting crimes against one another. I said it was stupid to blame the mother bc I highly doubted she thought hmmm this guy probably will kill my son. My cosin was murdered by his girlfriend but that's his fault right? Yea no...no one would ever think that his girlfriend would do that. But go bury your heads and act like just bc it's not in you tiny little community it doesn't affect you. I forgot boardman, Poland, and Canfield are so safe and nothing ever happens there. Except for the massive amounts itself use and drinking. But that never leads to murders

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13dcrob416(1 comment)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

dcrob416
My heart goes out to you Ms Jackson. My son was also murdered in June of 2008. His murderer was never found. I live with the hurt and the fear that this person still walks around and could hurt someone else. If you would please share with me how you conducted your own personal investigation I would appreciate it. I feel my son's murder case has been swept under the carpet, and will not be solved. I feel I will not have peace until I know that person is paying for the crime he committed. My son was only 20yrs old. I miss him so much. He was MY baby.
Ms Jackson or if anyone else could give me suggestions please email me @
dcrob416@yahoo.com.

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14Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Amillion :

"You guys all act like it's a black thing"

The womans boyfriend was black . She had no hangups on his past and criminal nature . In the hood crime is cool . When black people are killed by blacks they tolerate it very well .

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15southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

A terrible tragedy; I hope the scum rots in prison a long time and suffers.

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16JAQUALA88(17 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

OKAY NOW IM HEATED, YALL GOT SUM NERVE COMIN ON HERE WITH THT BLACK/WHITE ISH. GROW THE F**K UP. YALL DONT KNOW WHAT HAPPEN TO MY COUSIN OH AND (F.Y.I TO THE SMARTA**ES HE'S MY BLOOD COUSIN) YOU WANNA BE RACIST I CAN SHOW AND PROVE. HOW MANY "WHITE" MEN AND WOMEN RAN UP IN THEY JOB BECAUSE THE STRESSED AND POPPED THEY CO-WORKERS, HOW MANY TIMES I DEN SEEN A "WHITE MAN" ON TV FOR RAPE AND IT BE THEY OWN KIDS AT THAT. F**KIN PERVS. I HATE WHEN PEOPLE GET RACIST ABOUT ISH EVERY RACE DOES SOMETHING IT AINT GOT ISH TO DO WITH COLOR ITS SOCIETY HELLO????????? ITS 2011 AND FOLKS GOT ALL THE TIME AND DAY TO BE RACIST AND AT THAT YALL MAKING YALL KIDS RACIST WOW.....IM OUT BECAUSE I DONT GOT YALL TO DO AT ALL JUST RUDE

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