Florida Gators redshirt freshman J.C Jackson has hired attorney Christopher Brown — a Naples based attorney — to represent him against charges of robbery with a firearm. Brown was born in New York but raised in Naples. He graduated from the University of Florida with honors and went on to graduate from Florida’s law school. Brown has tried over 100 jury cases, strictly working in criminal defense in State and Federal Court.
“I am officially representing JC with co-council Steve Stanfield (an attorney based in Gainesville),” Brown told Gatorcountry.com “I think JC is a really nice young man, comes from a good family and he has a lot of people in his corner. I think when you’re a young guy with that profile you have to be very careful whom you’re hanging out with.”
For more than 36 hours Jackson was known as inmate ASO15MNI006895 after turning himself in for his part in an alleged robbery with a firearm — a first-degree felony.
Jackson was one of 827 inmates (as of April 19) and was housed in pod 4H with 63 others.
Jackson turned himself in last Sunday, April 19, after he was identified by witnesses through a photo lineup as one of three men who entered an apartment at the Canopy Apartment complex and robbed the occupants at gunpoint. Under Florida law, due to the nature of the alleged crime, Jackson was not guaranteed bail but he was given a bail of $150,000 ($50,000 for each count of first-degree felony robbery) by a judge. The bail was posted by Braswell Surety Services INC — a company in Stuart, Florida, and Jackson was picked up by his family on Tuesday night.
The police report states that Jackson made contact with the occupants of the apartment and arranged to come over with the intention of smoking marijuana. According to police, Jackson invited the other two men involved into the apartment with him. Jackson then left to take a phone call and did not return to the apartment. While Jackson was gone, one of the men grabbed a bag of marijuana off of a table, brandished a handgun and demanded to know where the larger supply of marijuana and cash were, the police report states.
The two men made off with $382 dollars in cash and two video game systems, according to the report.
Although Jackson was not in the apartment at the time of the robbery, Florida statute 777.001. could name Jackson as a principal to the crime.
The statute reads:
Whoever commits any criminal offense against the state, whether felony or misdemeanor, or aids, abets, counsels, hires, or otherwise procures such offense to be committed, and such offense is committed or is attempted to be committed, is a principal in the first degree, and may be charged, convicted, and punished as such. Whether he or she is or is not actually or constructively present at the commission of such offense.
Under this statute, the state could argue that Jackson facilitated the alleged crime by bringing the two individuals to the apartment and that would make him as guilty, under Florida law, as the individuals who were inside perpetrating the robbery. Brown does not believe that this statute applies to his client.
“I can confidently say that if a robbery did occur JC did not participate in it, nor did he know a robbery would be taking place,” Brown told Gator Country. “I think the evidence, and I’m talking credible evidence, that if there was a robbery it was unconnected to Mr. Jackson.”
Jim McElwain has not made a final decision as to Jackson’s status with the football team as he waits for the legal process to play out.
“We are aware of the news involving JC Jackson and he is currently dealing with a serious issue,” Gators coach Jim McElwain said in a statement released by UF. “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.”
Brown and Stanfield plan to cooperate fully with the State Attorney and are working quickly to speak to witnesses and gather information to bring to the State Attorney’s office within the next couple of days.