James Harris Jackson, a 28-years-old, left Baltimore, MD, on St. Patrick’s Day and arrived in New York City with a mission in mind to kill, according to authorities. He chose the city believing his murderous plan would gain greater media attention. His Hell’s Kitchen victim, however, was random; he didn’t plan who he killed but intended to kill a black man as practice for a killing spree motivated by racism.

Jackson, who served in the Army, is accused of plunging a sword into 66-year-old Timothy Caughman, a bottle collector. According to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jackson traveled by bus to NY to initiate terror by killing black men.

Jackson was charged with first and second-degree murder as terrorism, murder as a hate crime, and illegal weapons possession charges. He is slated for arraignment on April 13 in a Manhattan Supreme Criminal Court. If found guilty of the charges, he faces a mandatory life sentence.

Vance said, in a statement, that Jackson had total presence of mind when he acted, choosing a Midtown street corner and killing Caughman, a beloved New Yorker, based solely on the color of his skin. Jackson allegedly stabbed Caughman repeatedly. Midtown Manhattan was chosen by Jackson since it is the media capital of the world.

Accused killer turned himself in to police

Jackson, who turned himself in to police in Times Square, told officers that he needed to be arrested and that he had knives in his pocket.

Officers later found a 26-inch mini-sword that was used to kill Caughman. Reportedly, Jackson also told officers that his beliefs were written in his laptop computer that he was going to deliver to the NY Times. When he spoke with detectives he is reported to have been blunt about his prejudices and his plans to kill Black People.

Investigators said that Jackson harbored a bitter hatred of black men that consumed him from the time he was a boy.

He has not been linked, so far, to white supremacy or hate groups. Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said, at the arraignment that Jackson said he is offended by black men with white women.

Jackson in contrast to Caughman

Jackson was described as a slob and deadbeat by Marcus Dagan, who filled in as a building manager in 2015 when Jackson lived in the Baltimore neighborhood known as Mount Vernon.

He said Jackson was the tenant from hell. He also refused to allow anyone inside his apartment.

Jackson’s family issued a statement extending their prayers and support to Caughman’s family and also asked for privacy. Portia Clark, who grew up with Caughman, said he did not deserve to die “that way.” Described as a benevolent man, he was the son of a home health care aide and a pastor. He worked in anti-poverty programs in Queens. He was content and unassuming.

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