Wed, Mar 29, 2017 - Page 7 News List

US man charged with terrorism, hate crime over killing

AFP, NEW YORK

A US Army veteran on Monday faced terror and racism charges as he was indicted for fatally stabbing a 66-year-old black man.

James Jackson, 28, “prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement. “Last week, with total presence of mind, he acted on his plan, randomly selecting a beloved New Yorker solely on the basis of his skin color and stabbing him repeatedly and publicly on a Midtown street corner.”

He was formally charged in New York State Supreme Court with one count each of murder in the first and second degrees as an act of terrorism, murder in the second degree as a hate crime, as well as three counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Police say Jackson admitted stabbing Timothy Caughman multiple times near the low-rent shelter where Caughman lived. Caughman walked two blocks to a police station, but was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Caughman, a former youth corps division leader who recently spent most days returning bottles for US$0.05 each, lived in a humble hotel room for two decades.

Jackson — who served in the US Army from 2009 to 2012, a stint that included a tour of duty in Afghanistan — turned himself in to police in Times Square on Wednesday last week, according to local media reports.

He told police he considered the killing to be “practice prior to going to Times Square to kill additional black men,” according to the complaint.

It said he was “angered by black men mixing with white women.”

Jackson told police he had traveled to the city on a bus from his home in Baltimore, about 275km to the south.

Jackson attended a prestigious secondary school in Baltimore, and in 2009 joined the army in intelligence. In addition to the Afghanistan tour, he was stationed for some time in Baumholder, Germany, according to US media.

He arrived in New York on March 17 and took a hotel room under a false name.

Then he said he would start the first of many murders of black men that he planned.

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