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Prosecutor: Couple planned killing

The woman already was convicted. Now the man is on trial in a lotto winner's death.

By COLLEEN JENKINS
Published April 11, 2007


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TAMPA - Nathaniel Jackson didn't shoot lottery winner turned popcorn shop owner Jeffrey Dampier Jr.

But he could still go to prison for life on a felony murder charge if a jury decides this week that Jackson, 25, told his girlfriend to pull the trigger.

Prosecutor Jalal Harb already won a first-degree murder conviction against the girlfriend, Victoria Jackson. In his opening statement Tuesday for Nathaniel Jackson's trial, Harb said the couple planned together to kidnap and rob Dampier.

Then they killed Dampier to keep him quiet, Harb said.

"They shared a kindred spirit," Harb said. "It was not a good one."

Dampier, 39, was Victoria Jackson's brother-in-law. After winning a $20-million lottery in Illinois, he opened Kassie's Gourmet Popcorn in Tampa's Channelside entertainment district.

He also was Victoria Jackson's lover. Jealousy and money drove Nathaniel Jackson, her other boyfriend, to harm Dampier, Harb said. "He was an active participant in this plan," the prosecutor said.

The deadly drama climaxed July 26, 2005. Victoria Jackson called Dampier to her Brandon apartment, where he was bound with a shoestring and forced into his van.

Victoria Jackson shot him in the head as Nathaniel Jackson drove around southern Hillsborough County.

Nathaniel Jackson did not provoke or expect the shooting, his attorney said Tuesday.

Defense attorney Robert Fraser asked jurors to pay special attention to testimony from Terri Jackson, another of Victoria's sisters and the eyewitness to Dampier's death.

Terri Jackson has not been charged with any crimes against Dampier, even though Victoria Jackson said she was the one who tied Dampier's wrists. Fraser said Terri Jackson's version of events changed frequently.

The state's contention that Nathaniel Jackson yelled "Shoot him!" to his girlfriend came solely from Terri Jackson, "this woman of contradiction," Fraser said.

"Her testimony is unworthy of belief," Fraser said.

Attorneys expect the trial will end Thursday.

[Last modified April 11, 2007, 06:17:36]


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