Court papers: Leavenworth dad accused of capital murder shot two sons before fleeing with daughters


LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — An affidavit released Tuesday backs up details investigators previously shared and provides a timeline in a Leavenworth capital murder case where Donald Jackson Jr., is accused of killing his 12 and 14-year-old sons.

The affidavit says Leavenworth County deputies went to a home on Hillside Road at about 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, October 24 after Jackson didn’t show up for a soccer game with his four kids, and wasn’t answering his phone. Court papers say relatives had found 12-year-old Austin and 14-year-old Logan Jackson shot to death.

Jackson Jr., 40, and his two daughters were nowhere to be found, and authorities issued an AMBER Alert, eventually leading to his capture and the girls’ rescue in Erick, Oklahoma at 6:35 that Saturday night. Investigators found three .40-caliber shell casings at the home in Leavenworth, and say they found a .40-caliber handgun in the driver’s side door pocket of the car Jackson Jr. was driving.

Further details in the affidavit are redacted, Jackson is due again in court on December 14 at 1 p.m. for a motion hearing. If convicted on capital murder, Jackson faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole. He’s charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the alternative.

He’s being held without bond and being represented by the death penalty defense unit, which falls under Kansas’ State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services.

The boys’ mom, Tara Jackson, released this statement after charges were filed.

As many of you know, my client, Tara Jackson and her family suffered a traumatic loss of two of her oldest children and the kidnapping of two daughters.

On behalf of Tara Jackson, her family and friends, she would like to thank everyone who came together to bring her daughters home safe on Saturday. The Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Department, Kansas Bureau of Investigations, Kansas Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Beckham County Sheriff’s Department, the unknown truck driver that called in a vital sighting, the various law enforcement agencies in the Towns and Counties along the way, and the many other people that helped search. Tara also appreciates the media and reporters who played a large part in getting the information out concerning the abduction of her daughters and assisted in locating them.

In addition, she wants to thank everyone that has offered support and assistance in her family’s time of need. I would like to ask that you respect her privacy during these next very hard few weeks and months that Tara and her family have ahead of them.

There is a lot of unanswered questions concerning the event of Saturday October 24, 2020 and other matters over the last several months. However, there is an open investigation and pending litigation, therefore I will not answer questions at this time.


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