Florida Gators redshirt freshman cornerback J.C. Jackson remains in jail Monday on $150,000 bond as he is being charged with a first-degree felony in connection with an armed robbery that occurred in Gainesville, Florida, over the weekend.
According to The Gainesville Sun, Jackson “has refused to cooperate with investigators” as the Gainesville Police Department hopes to identify and bring in the other two men that committed the alleged crime.
Seeing as Jackson was a participant in the alleged crime but did not brandish the firearm or take direct part in the robbery, GDP spokesman Ben Tobias told the paper that Jackson would likely be better off speaking to police and working out a deal as opposed to remaining silent on the matter.
A potential impediment to Jackson speaking with police at this time is his lack of permanent legal counsel. According to the Orlando Sentinel‘s Edgar Thompson, Jackson was represented in Alachua County Court during his first appearance by Gainesville attorney Huntley Johnson; however, Johnson has yet to decide whether to take Jackson’s case.
Johnson is well-known as a local area attorney that has represented nearly every Gators athlete in legal matters – serious and otherwise – over the last decade-plus.
Jackson stands accused of making plans to visit the resident of an acquaintance, supposedly with the goal of smoking marijuana, only to open the door without knocking before insinuating he was going outside to take a phone call. That is when two men that arrived with him entered the residence, threatened those in the apartment with a handgun and forced them to the floor before taking their belongings, which included $382 in cash, marijuana and two video game consoles.
Unlike his alleged co-conspirators, who were not identified and remain at large, Jackson was identified by the apartment resident and subsequently turned himself in to Gainesville police early Sunday morning.
A standout during spring practice who was expected to be a prominent part of Florida’s defense and special teams in 2015, Jackson has struggled to keep himself out of trouble as he has now been in two gun-related and two marijuana-related incidents since joining the Gators. While in his hometown of Immokalee, Florida, on Christmas Eve, Jackson was grazed by a bullet during a drive by shooting while sitting in a car. Just days earlier, Jackson was in a car driven by sophomore quarterback Treon Harris that was pulled over on campus; marijuana was found in the vehicle but no one was charged with possession as it was not on anyone’s person.
The Gators have yet to make any definitive decision regarding Jackson.
“We are aware of the news involving J.C. Jackson, and he is currently dealing with a serious issue,” head coach Jim McElwain said in a statement released by the school on Sunday. “We don’t condone any of his actions, and it is not something that reflects on the expectations we have in the program. It is being handled accordingly due to the severity of his actions.”