Defense rests in Alexander Jackson trial, jury expected to get case Tuesday

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 4:26 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The defense has rested its case in the trial of Alexander Jackson. He’s accused of killing his parents and sister inside their Cedar Rapids home in 2021. Jackson claims an intruder was responsible for the murders. His defense team called several witnesses on his behalf but Jackson chose not to testify.

First on the witness stand was Garrett Barton, a fellow boy scout who had seen Jackson interact with his mother on a few occasions.

”Always kind and respectful, never really raised his voice at his mom. There were some smart aleck remarks, but I can’t pinpoint an exact phrase,” Barton said.

But prosecutors pointed out he had not had contact with Jackson since 2018, that’s three years before he’s accused of killing his family.

Next to testify was Jackson’s high school band director Jared Wacker

”He was always there on time, he was a hard worker, and I enjoyed my time with him,” Wacker said.

He testified that Jackson received A’s in his class, but prosecutors indicated people can change stating Jackson’s college GPA was 1.59.

Lastly the defense called Kristofer Lyon to the witness stand. He’s a digital forensics specialist who analyzed Jackson’s cell phone to check for the Ring security camera app. It’s a way to try and verify Jackson could not have messed with his home surveillance cameras.

”Did you see other files commonly associated with Ring that appeared on Alexander Jackson’s phone,” Defense Attorney Tyler Johnston asked.

“No,” Lyon said.

“Would that also be consistent with the fact that the app had never been installed on Mr. Jackson’s phone,” asked Johnston.

“Yes,” Lyon answered.

While none of the security cameras at the home picked up an intruder to verify Jackson’s story, a motion activated camera in the backyard also did not pickup police who were there investigating that same day.

Prosecutors called one rebuttal witness, a Cedar Rapids police investigator who specializes in digital forensics. Jeff Holst also analyzed Jackson’s phone and did not find the Ring app. He also tried to analyze a laptop found in the house.

”And you weren’t able to get into it,” asked Assistant Linn County Attorney Monica Slaughter.

“I was not, no,” Holst said. “It was encrypted,” he added.

Each side will give their closing arguments Tuesday morning and then the case will go to the jury.